Manifesta 14: It matters what worlds: how to tell stories otherwise
This summer, from 22 July for one hundred days, the nomadic European biennial Manifesta will stop in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, for its 14th edition. To date, there are many states that do not recognise Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia following the 1998-99 war between the two countries. Among them are world powers such as China and Russia, and five European states – even Spain, which will host Manifesta 15 in Barcelona in 2024 – and this has direct consequences on the ability of Kosovo’s citizens to leave their country or participate in the global economy. Thus, Kosovo is the youngest country on the European continent with an average age of thirty and an extremely vibrant underground art scene, but also the poorest.
With the biennial title “It matters what worlds: how to tell stories otherwise“, Manifesta 14 takes up the challenge to explore and generate new practices and modes of collective storytelling. Nichols has worked closely with Italian architect Carlo Ratti, who in collaboration with MIT’s Senseable City Lab has created the Urban Vision for the city of Prishtina. The Urban Vision serves as both a pre-biennial research and a long-term plan to identify possible strategies, sites, communities and key themes for the city.
The four central pillars of the Manifesta 14 Prishtina programme are: the former industrial site of the Brick Factory; the Grand Hotel, an iconic hotel built during the Yugoslav period; the new Centre for Narrative Practice in the former Hivzi Sylejmani Library; and the Green Corridor, a former railway track often seen as a symbol of the 1999 exodus. These are interwoven into a tightly composed route, bringing all public spaces and events together in a cohesive programme, allowing visitors to interact with the stories of the places where these interventions are presented. Participants will present their works in 25 locations in the city of Prishtina. The entire programme will bring together 102 participants from around 30 countries, including 25 collective and 77 individual participants, 40 from Kosovo and another 26 from the Western Balkans.