The exhibition “Called by your name: Mary and Nicholas” focuses on what we keep all our lives: our name and origin. Cultural heritage is not only found in personal names, but also in the naming of certain buildings. The show explores this in 16 St Mary’s Churches and 16 St Nicholas’ Churches, taking these names as starting points. In each of Germany’s federal states one show “Called by your name: Mary” and one show “Called by your name: Nicholas” is hosted in a church of the same name.
The exhibition also informs on variations of Mary and Nicholas in other European languages. The question “Where do I come from?” points at the focal point of the project and the recognition: I stem from a country, a region, a tradition, a family – and I am given a mother tongue. Finally, our perspective opens up into the interreligious: “Mary” is derived from the Hebrew name “Miryam” and in the Qur’an a surah is named after “Maryam”.
Names tell us something about where we come from, what we carry within ourselves and what we are connected to through them. The exhibition is accompanied by workshops, concerts and church services. Following the meaning of Mary and Nicholas, the exhibition “Called by your name: Mary and Nicholas” invites visitors to trace back their own names’ history. You are part of Europe’s cultural heritage yourself – not least because of your name!