Manifesta 15 Barcelona

Manifesta 15 Barcelona | 08.09 - 24.11.24

In 2024, Manifesta, the European Nomadic Biennial, will come to Barcelona and its larger metropolitan region for its 15th edition.

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What is Manifesta

Manifesta, the European Nomadic Biennial, changes location every two years. Founded in the early 1990s, Manifesta rethinks the relation between culture and civic society, investigating and instigating an eco-social transition through contemporary culture in response to, and in close dialogue with, the social sphere of the Host City and its communities.

About Manifesta 15 Barcelona

Manifesta 15 in Barcelona has been invited to explore pressing public debates, based around the topics of 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.

Education and Mediation programme

Check out Manifesta 15 Barcelona's Education and Mediation programme

Frequently Asked Questions

Manifesta 15 Barcelona: F&Q

Our team

Each edition of Manifesta is managed by a mix of permanent international team members and local specialists. Manifesta works from its offices in Amsterdam and the Host City.

Join the team

Keep an eye on this page and sign up to our newsletter to hear about further upcoming vacancies.


Please find the press coverage, contacts for press enquiries and the press releases.


Manifesta 15 Barcelona is made possible by the support of our partners.

Support Manifesta

Manifesta is supported by an ever-extending international network of partners including foundations, sponsors and individuals. Manifesta’s supporters share our interest in creating platforms for dialogue between art and society, exploring specific geopolitical and sociological issues and creating long-term change for cities. Manifesta is grateful to all its benefactors for their vital contributions throughout the years.


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Frequently Asked Questions


    The European Nomadic Biennial was invited by the City of Barcelona, with the support of ten municipalities of its metropolitan region, to study how a possible decentralisation of existing cultural infrastructures could be developed by producing a geographical framework of artistic and ecological interventions that extends across its metropolitan region.

    The 15th edition of Manifesta, will have a scale never addressed in the previous fourteen editions of the European Nomadic Biennial. The research process implemented by Manifesta 15 takes into consideration the urban transformations that the city of Barcelona and its metropolitan region have experienced over the last four decades.

    For this edition, Manifesta has transformed its own model into a more inclusive mediation project which starts with research and knowledge production by a variety of researchers looking into topics such as environmental transformations, water, more than human actors and the creation of alternative narratives.

    Manifesta 15 Barcelona, connecting local and international groups, will be a framework for action, attention and cure to identify the needs for urgent socio-ecological transformations in the metropolitan region through creating artistic innovative projects.


    Every two years, European cities propose large scale urban prospects for a future edition of Manifesta. Supervisory Board of the International Foundation Manifesta selects a new Host City after local research has been done and the urgency around the thematic has be investigated. This process takes place four to six years in advance of the edition taking place. The initial departure point for every edition of Manifesta is the Bid; for Manifesta 15 this was written and submitted by the City Hall of Barcelona (Ajuntament) prior to selection in December 2020.

    Once the Host City has been selected, Manifesta sets up a partnership between the Host City and the Manifesta Foundation. The term ‘engaged autonomy’ refers to the relationship Manifesta establishes with its Host Cities, this should be collaborative and indetified by mutual respect. This mutual commitment establishes the basis to work with city administrations beyond the single exhibition format; to challenge and improve policy and institutions in the long term. So that Manifesta can 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.


    In the Manifesta 15 Barcelona Bid, the City of Barcelona and the Councillor of Culture formulated the goal of decentralising and de-institutionalising the cultural infrastructure by creating a biennial framework which would incorporate both the city of Barcelona and ten cities from the metropolitan region. Additionally, Manifesta 15 was invited to identify a new model of collectivity for collaborations between artistic and civil communities in the periphery of Barcelona, and beyond.


    Manifesta will run from the 8th of September until the 24th of November 2024, with a pre-biennial programme commencing in the autumn of 2023 with a series of newly commissioned works, site-specific projects and research projects by a diverse array of national and international cultural practitioners.

    The press and professional preview of Manifesta 15 will take place on Friday the 6th and Saturday the 7th of September 2024. The Official Opening Ceremony will take place in the evening of the 7th of September 2024.


    Within the context of Manifesta 15 Barcelona, the three geographical nodes that have been selected- in response to the municipalities which supported the Bid- are in the following three territories: along the Besòs river, the Llobregat delta and the Collserola mountain range. The commonality between these nodes is their presence as large natural systems and open spaces that surround the metropolis that is Barcelona, yet their presence is in close relation with urban and industrial development. Additionally, these nodes represent the urgent need for decentralising and reallocating cultural eco-systems to the metropolitan region.


    This is the list of municipalities which supported the bid for Manifesta 15:  Badalona, Barcelona, Cornellà del Llobregat, El Prat del Llobregat, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Granollers, Mataró, Sabadell, Sant Adrià de Besòs, Sant Cugat del Vallès, Santa Coloma de Gramenet and Terrassa.


    During the past half year, Manifesta 15 Barcelona has focused on generating a set of critical questions which will be researched and will lead to the presentation of socio-cultural and ecological collaborative projects in the metropolitan region. A participatory process launched in May 2023 will be created in between civil society organisations working alongside cultural practitioners from different regions and disciplines. The outcome of this research and knowledge production will identify the needs for urgent socio-ecological transformations in the metropolitan region through creating artistic innovative projects. By working with artists and architects in an experimental manner, Manifesta 15 hopes to present the key finding of this research in an alternative eco-social “Magna Carta”.


    The Education and Mediation department is an important creative force of the biennial, that develops and takes care of the relationships with the host city and its communities. The programme is a set of interrelated research-based projects that have been born out of encounters with a variety of local actors, ranging from inhabitants and educators to artists and that will delve into histories and present realities of the city. Having the principle of mediation at the core, it aims at making the biennial programme respond to the interests and needs of non-professional audiences, creating spaces in contemporary culture(s) where more people recognise themselves.

    The educational research process in Manifesta 15 Barcelona started with exploration of local pedagogical histories in (non)formal education and current state of affairs in the professional field of mediation. These two research processes will help to uncover authentic educational practices of the past as well as current policies.


    Manifesta is an initiative and co-organised by the International Foundation Manifesta, an independent and not-for-profit organisation with an office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Every edition of Manifesta is co-initiated and co-organised by the International Foundation Manifesta and the edition’s Host City.

    Each new Manifesta edition is started up and fundraised individually. Manifesta 15 Barcelona’s budget is shared between public funding bodies and corporate sponsors, international cultural public grant organisations and individual donations. While the Host City guarantees the basic budget, Manifesta fundraises on top of this for each edition, sometimes for more than 20-30% of the overall budget. This generates the necessary funds to develop the urban and artistic programme for the Host City and its communities, as well as long-term, sustainable projects. Manifesta is continuously looking for new partners and supporters to help create each edition, you can learn more about how to support Manifesta here.

    The basic budget of Manifesta 15 Barcelona granted by the City Hall of Barcelona, Generalitat de Catalunya and the Diputació de Barcelona is 8,000,000 euros.


    The initial conceptual framework is laid down by Manifesta 15’s Director, Hedwig Fijen, together with the Manifesta 15 team members. Additional input is given by the City Hall of Barcelona and other local stakeholders, such as regional urbanists and architects (in the case of Manifesta 15, leading individuals such as Joseph Bohigas). Manifesta 15 then selects Creative Mediators who will further develop the conceptual framework and the selection and integration of cultural participants. The first Creative Mediator was selected in December 2022 (Sergio Pardo) to analyse the urban studies and researches developed over the last four decades for and about the city of Barcelona. Based on this analysis and after a lengthy collaborative process with local urbanists, three nodes (locations/crossroads) were selected where Manifesta 15 will start its biennial process but commissioning cultural practitioners and local organisations to create innovative artistic research projects relating to eco-social themes.

    Manifesta 15’s director, along with the team of in-house specialists, creates the overall strategy for the biennial and together with the Creative Mediator defines the venues, the participants and reseach topics.

    A second Creative Mediator will be selected in September 2023 who will work closely with Manifesta 15’s director and team. This individual weaves together the findings from the collaborative research of the cultural practitioners in the different nodes and the concept for the biennial programme.


    Last October, an Open Call was launched for local projects to submit a proposal to be participants of Manifesta 15. The exact details will be published in September 2023. A jury composed of the 2nd Creative Mediator and members of Manifesta 15’s team will select a set amount of projects which will be integrated into the main biennial programme.

    Individuals, associations, institutions, and festivals are allowed to submit a proposal within the open call. The projects and the organisers must be based in Catalonia. An estimate amount of 10 – 15 projects will be selected.


    Last October, an open call was launched for local projects to submit a proposal to be participants of Manifesta 15. A jury composed of the 2nd Creative Mediator and members of Manifesta 15’s team will select a set amount of projects which will be integrated into the main biennial programme.

    Individuals, associations, institutions and festivals are allowed to submit a proposal within the open call. The projects and the organisers must be based in Catalonia. An estimate amount of 10 – 15 projects will be selected.

    In addition to the Open Call, Manifesta 15 Barcelona will be setting up a variety of partnerships with local cultural organisations. These partnerships will vary in from ranging from public programme partnerships in the Gustavo Gili in the months leading up and during the biennial, special programmes within the Manifesta 15 venues or collaborations on the development of artistic projects.


    During each edition of the biennial, Manifesta commissions an external organisation leading in its field to do an analytical public survey about the public’s perception of Manifesta, as well as the cultural and financial profits for the Host City. This public survey is presented in the Final Report, a publication that is published 8 to 12 months after the biennial closes its doors. The Final Report is free for all to review and is also available in an online version.


    Each edition of Manifesta works with a local team that is employed to conceptual and execute the biennial edition together with the team of the International Foundation Manifesta. The international team consists of roughly 6 – 10 cultural professionals. The local team varies in size depending on the host city but usually consists of roughly 40 full-time employees. The employees are mostly local, if not national.


    The board is legally and financially responsible for Manifesta 15 Barcelona. It is a governance board and therefore focuses on the administrative, legal and financial undertakings of Manifesta 15 Barcelona. The board is not responsible for the artistic content but approves the overall programming of Manifesta 15 Barcelona. An Organising Committee is composed as well as an Honorary Committee and a Standing Committee to support and advise Manifesta 15 Barcelona.

    For every edition of Manifesta a new foundation is created. There are nine board members in total with the Manifesta’s director acting as the president of the foundation.

    The Board Members are (April 2023):

    Hedwig Fijen is the Founding Director of Manifesta and president of Manifesta 15 Barcelona.

    Jordi Martí is currently the Deputy Mayor of Culture, Education, Science and Community of the City of Barcelona, as well as Commissioner of City Presidency, Economy and City Budget. Marti is the vice-president of Manifesta 15 Barcelona.

    Josep Bohigas is the general manager of the Urban Development Agency Barcelona Regional, and the general manager of the Urban Ecology Agency of Barcelona.

    Marta Clari is the Managing Director of the 6th Deputy Mayor in Culture, Education, Science and Community of the City Hall of Barcelona.

    Hendrikje Crebolder is the Director of Development & Media at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. She is responsible for fundraising, stakeholder management, communication, marketing and (online) publications.

    Kathleen Ferrier works in international cooperation, as an academic professor and has served as a member of parliament in the Netherlands for over ten years. Ferrier is involved in issues related to human rights and democracy; she is currently the chair of the Dutch UNESCO Commission. 

    Eva Sòria Puig is currently the Director of Innovation, Research and Visual Arts at the Institut de Cultura de Barcelona.

    Joan Subirats is the Minister of Universities of the Government of SpainFrom 2018 to 2021 he was the Commissioner of Culture and Deputy Mayor of Culture, Education and Science of the City of Barcelona.

    Niels de Ru is a partner with the international law firm Allen & Overy LLP and heads the Banking department of the Amsterdam office.


    Manifesta 15 will have one inclusive ticket priced 15€ which is valid for all M15 venues, in all cities and for all activities, and valid for the entire duration of the biennial. Local discounts apply.


    The municipalities who supported the Bid of the City of Barcelona in inviting Manifesta will be an integral part of Manifesta 15’s programme. In the pre-biennial phase, they will host a variety of cultural practitioners who will be conducting their research in the metropolitan region. Additionally, they will support this research by connecting the cultural practitioners with local associations and organisations specialising in a diverse array of fields linked to the thematic pillars of Manifesta 15.

    During the biennial, projects in the different municipality will be part of the main programme of the biennial. These programmes and projects will differ per municipality. These projects will be announced in April 2024.

    In addition to this, a communication campaign will be organised to focus on 1 specific municipality per week during the biennial. The aim of this campaign is to draw a clear focus to each municipality throughout the biennial days.

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