Founded in the early 1990s as a response to political, economic and social changes after the end of the Cold War and on the way towards European unification, Manifesta – the traveling European biennial of contemporary art – reaches its 12th iteration in 2018, in the city of Palermo, from June to September.
Palermo has been chosen by the Manifesta committee due to its pertinence to the main themes of contemporary Europe: migration and climate change, and their impact on cities.
According to Hedwig Fijen, director of Manifesta, “Manifesta 12 in Palermo is a great challenge to rethink how far cultural interventions can play a role in helping to reshape one of the most iconic Mediterranean crossroads in our history as part of a long term transformation process.
Manifesta 12 will raise questions such as: ‘Who owns the city of Palermo?’ and ‘how to claim back the city?’ The city’s migration problems are symbolic of the far wider crisis situation which the whole of Europe is facing right now.”
The main goal of Manifesta 12 is to work along interdisciplinary lines, along with local communities, to rethink architectural, urban, economic, social and cultural infrastructures. In Palermo Manifesta could therefore act as a sort of ‘incubator,’ supporting local communities through multiple interventions aimed at rethinking the city in its cultural and socio-economic structures, and using the existing profile of the civitas as a platform for social chan