La Mercè comes to Manifesta 15 Barcelona!
Manifesta 15 x La Mercè
Every year, the festival of Mercè, the patron saint of Barcelona, comes alive in squares and streets throughout the city, typically around the 24th of September. This year, ahead of Manifesta 15 Barcelona which is set to take place in 2024, the European Nomadic Biennial will bring a public screening programme titled “Temptation of Modernity” In collaboration with La Mercè.
The rich culture, history and traditions of Ukraine, a nation sadly enduring the ongoing impact of conflict, will be prominently featured throughout the La Mercè programme. A year ago, an invitation endorsed unanimously by all municipal groups of the Barcelona City Council designated Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, as the guest city for Barcelona's annual festival in 2023. Linking to this, the Manifesta 15 Barcelona Public Programme titled “Temptation of Modernity” explores modernism within the context of industrialisation and its contemporary failures, particularly in relation to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its environmental impacts.
About the progamme
The programme features a blend of recent films produced during the ongoing conflict, earlier works by contemporary artists exploring the idea of 'imaginary never-ending construction,' and historical avant-garde films that viewed industrialisation as a means of asserting human dominance over nature.
The historical films from the 1920s and 1930s reveal a utopian vision that portrayed industrial modernisation as a path to liberation and simplification of labour, transforming Ukraine from an agrarian society into an industrialised one. Today, these same industrialised regions are most vulnerable due to shelling and terrorist acts associated with the current war, shedding light on the military aspect of modernity.
Contemporary filmmakers respond to this historical context, offering insights into the past while grappling with the challenges of the present day, fostering discussions about history, ecology and geopolitics.
As Barcelona's La Mercè festival approaches, "Temptation of Modernity" promises to be a thought-provoking and enlightening experience, celebrating cultural diversity and the power of art to inspire dialogue on pressing global issues. This collaborative effort between Manifesta 15 Barcelona and La Mercè reflects the ability of art to bridge gaps and promote understanding in a world marked by turmoil.
Download the full programme below: