Manifesta purposely strives to keep its distance from what are often seen as the dominant centres of artistic production, instead seeking fresh and fertile terrain for the mapping of a new cultural topography.
Prishtina, one of the youngest capital cities of Europe and the capital city of Kosovo, has become the epicentre of an alternative biennial model. Manifesta’s 14th edition rethinks the relevance of an international biennial in a post-pandemic world.
Under the title It matters what worlds world worlds: how to tell stories otherwise, Manifesta 14 Prishtina takes up the challenge of exploring new ways of collective storytelling. The concept positions storytelling as central to how we live as a society; it views the creation of stories as a way of opening our minds to new ways of thinking so we can imagine a different future for Kosovo and the City of Prishtina. It is through telling a variety of stories, in different ways, that Manifesta 14 Prishtina aims to become a more inclusive and diverse platform, without hierarchies or boundaries.
Working collectively with Kosovar urbanists, cultural professionals, artists and thinkers, Manifesta 14 acts as a temporary incubator in the city, a platform for knowledge production and for innovative, participatory practices. The programme serves the needs and interests of Kosovar communities by creating sustainable projects and bringing much needed international recognition to national talent. Manifesta envisages that the artistic and urban interventions will become a catalyst for further urban transformation in the city of Prishtina, aiming to reclaim public space in the long-term. After two years affected by the pandemic, Manifesta, the European Nomadic Biennial, has intensified its quest to develop more sustainable biennial models, by co-creating long-term structures and ownership of the projects it initiates with, and for, the local Kosovar community. Within Manifesta 14, a key element of this endeavour is the transformation of the former Hivzi Sylejmani Library into the Centre for Narrative Practice: a permanent multi-functional space for the local and regional neighbourhoods and the artistic community.