About Manifesta 15 Barcelona
Manifesta 15 in Barcelona will explore innovative dynamics and pressing public debates: sovereignty as a topic and political process within the challenges of globalisation; the democratisation of public life; the defence of public space in the face of privatisation; the need to combine social progress with environmental challenges; fragility in terms of housing, the movement of people, capital, data and economic as well as ecological crises.
Manifesta 15 Barcelona will act as a laboratory for a new cultural institutionalism in the metropolitan areas of the city of Barcelona. The aim is to structurally reform the relationship between contemporary arts with different regions and communities, the integration of the arts into educational contexts, the empowerment of critical thinking and imagination and the integration of artists into cultural ecosystems, reaching beyond the world of art. Manifesta 15 in Barcelona will incorporate a participatory model into every decision-making process, so that the transformation and transition processes connect to the needs and interest of communities in the metropolitan areas.
In order to conceptualise and develop a framework for each biennial edition, Manifesta first ascertains the needs and interests of the citizens, the professional cultural sector and civil society of the Host City. Manifesta’s extensive biennial research process identifies local structures, using this to develop the goals and parameters for the biennial programme. The initial departure point for every edition of Manifesta is the Bid, which was written and submitted by the Host City prior to selection in December 2020.
There are numerous factors which have impacted the urban development of the City of Barcelona over the last decades. These include: the fast gentrification of the coastline and natural areas, the use of land for real estate development, the introduction of the Super Block model and the use of land for industrial transformation. City expansion is limited due to the natural barriers of the rivers, the sea and the mountains. However, rural and/or protected land are at risk because of the expansion of economic developments, such as the airport.
What happens next?
After the Bid by the City of Barcelona was submitted in 2020, Manifesta 15 will develop a series of Expectation Workshops with small groups to identify the objectives, challenges and expectations for the upcoming biennial edition. Further workshops will take place in the summer of 2022, with a variety of civil society, artistic and community leaders from Barcelona and its metropolitan region. During these, the Director will draft a Brief that focuses on the composition of the creative mediation team for Manifesta 15, as well as the process after that.