Manifesta 14 Prishtina moves forward and announces details of its upcoming edition

Words by Carla Ingrasciotta
March 18, 2021

The team of the 14th edition of Manifesta is working hard to the upcoming edition which aims to open in the Autumn of 2022 (dates to be announced in the upcoming months).

Despite the current restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the biennial has started to create alternative models for crucial urbanistic, social and cultural explorations in Europe’s youngest nation state. Manifesta 14’s mission is to produce sustainable projects with a longer-term legacy co-created with the local infrastructure in addition to contemporary art interventions across the city.

In line with this, a Jury chaired by the Mayor of Prishtina Sphend Ahmeti and Hedwig Fijen, director of Manifesta have selected the Turin based architectural office Carlo Ratti Associati in collaboration with MIT’s Senseable City Lab to conduct the urban vision for the City of Prishtina for the next edition of Manifesta. The urban vision informs how Manifesta 14 will take shape within the local context, but most importantly it is commissioned to develop how the city of Prishtina could be transformed by reclaiming public space by its citizens.

In the recent period of global health crisis and the current lockdown, it became crucial for Manifesta to rethink its basic principles and methodology by laying a distinct emphasis on more sustainable artistic practices, as well as to democratise the curatorial model of knowledge production, co-creation and linking different disciplines to long term projects, improvements of public space and community building.

In addition to the Palace of Youth and Sports, the Municipality of Prishtina has assigned Manifesta 14 the building of the ‘Hivzi Sylejmani’ Library to be used as the future Manifesta 14 Prishtina headquarters and permanent institutional space. The building of the ‘Hivzi Sylejmani’ Library is a cultural heritage monument of the capital dating back from 1930, with the original function as a residential house. It was later transformed into a public library, where many generations fondly remember borrowing books.

Moreover, Manifesta 14 is working on a pre-biennial public programme with an array of cultural partners in Kosovo and the Balkan region to start at the Palace of Youth and Sports in Prishtina in the spring of 2021.

“Life today seems to be increasingly unpredictable and the current media discourse shows an uncertain future threatened by polarisation, disintegration, climate chaos and rising economic inequality as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. These struggles for equality and new activist movements have motivated Manifesta to transform our way of working, by focussing on a more socially engaged and sustainable outcome of our biennial programme. This means that we work with urbanists, architects, ecologists and social designers next to artists and creative mediators to make sure we are able to transform Manifesta to a more diverse, democratic, bottom-up involvement of local voices and grass root communities, that turns signals into substance, and from there into concrete actions”. Hedwig Fijen, Founding Director of Manifesta

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