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.

On the occasion of Manifesta 14 Prishtina, the former Hivzi Sylejmani Library was completely renovated and transformed into the Centre for Narrative Practice and became the central venue of Manifesta 14 Prishtina’s Artistic and Educational Programme. With the support of its partners, Manifesta 14 Prishtina has converted it into a new interdisciplinary institution for co-working and co-creation of artistic, educational and community programming. It becomes the first time Manifesta leaves a permanent institution after the end of the biennial.

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.

For his contribution to Manifesta 14 Prishtina, Petrit Halilaj temporarily transformed the darkened sign of the Grand Hotel Prishtina into a poetic call to his fellow residents: “when the sun goes away, we paint the sky”. If you find yourself in Prishtina, you will still be able to see his installation.

During Manifesta 14 many events, performances and much more took place as a part of the biennial programme. Many events came from the efforts of local communities and individuals resulting in a programme that organically catered to a large range of people within the city.

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.

A part of the bid for Manifesta 14 Prishtina was to reclaim public spaces, therefore powerful works could be seen across the capital, repurposing and reimagining spaces that were previously not in use. The installations in public spaces included works from: Lee Bul, Alban Muja, Chiharu Shiota and more.