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Manifesta 12: Palermo

4 years ago

Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, and the City of Palermo, Italy have announced that the 12th edition of Manifesta in 2018 will take place in Palermo. This and the first steps of the programme were announced by Hedwig Fijen, Director of Manifesta and Leoluca Orlando, Mayor of the City of Palermo.

Manifesta, the nomadic European Contemporary Art Biennial, originated in the early nineties in response to the political, economic and social changes following the end of the Cold War and the subsequent steps towards European integration. Since then, Manifesta has developed into a travelling platform that focuses on the dialogue between art and society in Europe. Manifesta is a project based on community: its success depends on the collaboration between the international and local actors and the involvement and engagement of the local communities.

Manifesta 12’s main ambition is to work in a truly interdisciplinary way with local communities in order to rethink the basic architectural, urban, economic, social and cultural structures of the city. Manifesta 12 can investigate how great the role of cultural intervention can be in allowing the Palermitani citizens to take back ownership of their city. Manifesta 12 in Palermo can act as a grass-root incubator supporting the local communities with cultural interventions: this will help to rethink the city in their socio-economical and cultural structures
and will use the existing informal profile of the city to act as a platform for social change.
The next steps for the Manifesta 12 team in 2015 are – according to Director Hedwig Fijen – the implementation of the organisational framework for M12 to work within city and to create a structure in which Manifesta 12 can imbed its ideas within the local communities and continue the work they have already done. The interdisciplinary context in which Manifesta 12 will operate requires the nomination of a specialized team of creative mediators who can realize the ambition of rethinking the City of Palermo from a multiple range of perspectives. The nomination of the creative team is expected in the beginning of 2016, in order to allow them to work for the full 2,5 years in advance of the opening of the biennial in 2018.
The upcoming pre-biennial program will start in building the process for a sustainable theoretical framework and will set out the parameters of the city’s revitalisation process. In this phase, Manifesta would like to activate the communities of Palermo in the identification of its mission statement and objectives, as well as the challenges, expectations and outcomes of Manifesta 12.


Elena Scarpa

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