Last week in Kosovo, during the inauguration of the 14th Biennial of Contemporary Art Manifesta, its founder and director Hedwig Fien announced plans to hold the 17th Biennial in 2028 in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Institute approached the leadership of the biennial with this proposal and expressed its readiness to become a partner in preparation and holding Manifesta in Ukraine. The representatives of the Institute have already initiated preliminary consultations with the cultural community in Ukraine and abroad.
Ukraine has significant potential in the field of contemporary art, which continues to develop even in the face of a full-scale Russian invasion. Holding an event of this level will contribute to the decentralisation of cultural processes in Ukraine and deepen the engagement of Ukrainians in European cultural networks. In the past, Ukraine has already submitted applications for Manifesta twice, in particular, in 2018, the application was submitted by the Ukrainian Institute.
Manifesta originated in the early 90’s in response to the political, economic and social changes following the end of the Cold War and the subsequent steps towards European integration. Since that time, Manifesta has developed into traveling platform focusing on the dialogue between art and society in Europe.
Previous editions have taken place in Rotterdam (1996), Luxembourg (1998), Ljubljana(2000), Frankfurt (2002), San Sebastian (2004), Nicosia (2006 – cancelled), Trentino-South Tyrol (2008), Murcia in dialogue with northern Africa (2010), Limburg (2012), St. Petersburg (2014), Zurich (2016) and Palermo (2018). The current edition is taking place in Marseille (2020).
In 2022, the City of Prishtina will host Manifesta, and then Barcelona (2024) and Ruhr (2026).
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. This includes innovations in curatorial practices, mediation and education. Each Manifesta biennial investigates and reflects upon emerging developments in contemporary art and culture, set within a European context. In doing so, we engage local, national and international audiences with new aspects and forms of artistic expression to catalyse positive social change in Europe.