*Pristina Appointed Host City of Manifesta 14
Since its inception in the early 1990s, the mission of Manifesta is to examine the changing cultural topography of Europe. Every two years, Manifesta looks at the world through the prism of the specific situation of a new host city. The Supervisory Board of Manifesta selected the city of Pristina in Kosovo because of the geographical and geo-political importance of the Balkan in relation to Europe’s recent history and its future. In its relatively short history as the capital of the youngest nation state of Europe, the city of Pristina has experienced major transformations in its landscape by unrestrained neoliberal policies of privatization of open urban spaces. Manifesta aims to support the citizens of Kosovo in their ambition to reclaim public space and to rewrite the future of their city as an open-minded metropolis in the heart of the Balkans.
Pristina presents a unique location from which to look at the past and think about the present challenges Europe is facing from an unexpected and heterogeneous perspective. This fast-changing urban centre at the crossroads between Southern and Eastern Europe will allow Manifesta 14 to investigate how contemporary culture and social practices can address the identity of a country that is as composite as it is polymorphic.
Pristina was selected by Manifesta to host the 14th edition of the biennial based on the strong bid submitted by the City of Pristina. The Board received bids from various European cities and subsequently undertook in-depth research into each candidate, including research travels, as part of the se- lection procedure. The selection of the host city three years in advance of the biennial is part of a strategy that enables a greater engagement with the host region and build links between host cities.
At an official press conference in Pristina on 3 May 2019, the Director of Manifesta, Hedwig Fijen; the Mayor of Pristina, Shpend Ahmeti; the Director of Culture City of Pristina, Blerta Bosholli; and the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport of the Republic of Kosovo, Kujtim Gashi; officially announced Pristina as the host city of Manifesta 14.