L’Horta de València agro farming main characters are getting old and no one till now has compiled, organized and disseminated them memories and experiences.
This amazing knowledge flow, essential in order to understand these water cultural landscapes, is the target of Artxiviu de l’Horta. This project explores in this memory and reality with the aim to be archive and knowledge, conservancy and creation vehicle.
Archive, art, life
Artxiviu is an acronym that clusters three basic concepts: archive, art and life. This creative project wants to encourage the creation and diffusion of cultural content related with L’Horta de València memory and reality. A very unique territorial space. This is also an open teamwork, a group of people that observes art practices as an essential part of creative process, considering equally documentary, cultural and anthropological values.
On the one hand, as an alive memory archive from l’Horta de València inhabitants, intends to be a researcher, register, organizer and dissemination tool of its culture and knowledge.
On the other hand, claim to be a tool that encourages experimentation and creation around this reality.
Artxiviu is also a meeting place for proposals that are develop in similar farming and cultural spaces; an exchange and connexion place for landscapes and systems related with water and traditional irrigated lands.
Last but not least, Artxiviu is a starting point from different educational and participatory enterprises. Enterprises that encourage cultural content creations, that creates and spread knowledge around l’Horta de València, and that could be useful and be a model in similar territories and landscapes.
L’Horta de València
L’Horta de València Counties, located at the last section of Turia River, near Mediterranean Sea, are sheltering one of the last suburban historical farms that still subsist in Europe. This is a traditional valencian irrigation landscape that is spread between València city and other towns in its metropolitan area. This landscape is still keeping an important cultural and economic activity linked to its farming root.
L’Horta de València is more than sex hundred square Kilometres (232 square miles) and embrace almost fifty towns with more than one million and a half inhabitants. This territory is integrated in ten different irrigation communities that distribute irrigation water in two big water systems. On the one hand there is La Sèquia Reial de Montcada (Montcada’s Royal Canal), the biggest canal in the whole area, whose watering realm is the suburban space at north of Valencia City. On the other hand there are Sèquies de la Vega (Lowlands canals) –Mestalla, Tormos, Rascanya, Favara, Quart, Xirivella, Benàger i Faitanar and Rovella– all at once are El Tribunal de les Aigües (The Water Court): centuries-old justice and right institution recognize as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Even though memory and identity of valencian society is strongly link to this County, and the high interest in these unique landscapes, L’Horta de València is a threatened space because of various factors. Foremost among them the virtual disappearance of the generational replacement at the agricultural sector, this has brought a deep intergenerational rupture. An important part of this intangible heritage, the elder’s knowledge and eco-knowledge doesn’t get transfer to next generation and is getting lost along in a irreversible damage. This process of accelerated loss is especially evident during the first years of the twenty-first century.