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Barcelona. Photo: Wikipedia.
Barcelona. Photo: Wikipedia.

Manifesta 15 to Take Place in Barcelona and Across Ten Spanish Cities

The 2024 iteration of roving biennial Manifesta is to take place in Barcelona and ten other cities in Spain’s Catalonia region, according to organizers. The ten other participating cities are Badalona, Cornellà, El Prat de Llobregat, Granollers, L’Hospitalet, Mataró, Sabadell, Santa Coloma de Gramene, Sant Cugat, and Terrassa. Catalonia, one of Spain’s seventeen autonomous regions, occupies the northern part of the country and is the locus of a separatist movement championed by a rising far-right faction, making it a site of unrest for some years now.

Biennial officials in a statement said, “The bid of Barcelona aligns with the mission of Manifesta, as it seeks to build upon the common objective of involving citizens, different entities and groups, in the common task of rethinking our world through artistic creativity and social commitment.” The organizers further noted that the decision to spread the biennial over the eleven Catalonian cities reflects Manifesta’s focus “on how art and culture can fight polarization and division.”

The 2022 iteration of Manifesta is to take place in Pristina, Kosovo. ArtReview calls the decision to hold the 2024 edition in Catalonia an interesting one in terms of European geopolitics, noting that while Kosovo is recognized by twenty-two of the twenty-seven EU countries, Spain is not one of them, having refused to ratify the state’s 2008 independence from Serbia partly out of fear that doing so would set a precedent for Catalonia’s own claim for independence.

This year’s edition of the biennial, Manifesta 13, helmed by Institution of Contemporary Arts, London, director Stéfan Kalmar, opened in August in Marseille, France, following a two-month delay caused by the Covid-19 crisis; the event was forced to move online in October following a resurgence of the virus in the country.