Manifesta 14 Prishtina has been open for three weeks, with impressive visitor numbers
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Manifesta 14 Prishtina has been open for three weeks, with impressive visitor numbers
Dua Lipa visiting Chiharu Shiota's work at the Great Hammam at Manifesta 14 Prishtina. Photo © Manifesta 14 Prishtina / Fikret Ahmeti.

PRISHTINA.- Three weeks after the biennial preview days in Prishtina, Manifesta 14 shared that there have been over 30,000 visits to the 25 incredible venues across Kosovo’s capital city. This impressive figure does not include the thousands of visitors who have interacted with the artistic interventions within the public squares, such as Adem Jashari Square or the Green Corridor, a major urban greening intervention that creates a new pedestrian path across Prishtina to improve the city’s mobility. Their collective approach to programming, a core Manifesta principle since the early days of the biennial, has paid off with incredible engagement from local communities and cultural leaders in Kosovo.

The Centre for Narrative Practice, Manifesta’s first permanent cultural institution in its 25 years of history, has in its opening weeks established itself as a new centre for multi-disciplinary cultural and educational activities in the city of Prishtina. With dozens of performances, readings, and discussions, along with free workshops on podcasting, self-publishing, and storytelling, its lively interdisciplinary programme is in full swing. Initially conceptualised and developed by Manifesta and curated by Catherine Nichols, at the end of the biennial Manifesta will announce how they will guarantee the long-term strategy for funding and management of this cultural institution for the future.

Manifesta 14 Prishtina has welcomed press coverage from a large array of international and local media, including The Economist, Die Presse, Le Monde, NRC, El País, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wallpaper, and many more. While overwhelmingly positive about the artistic and urban interventions, Manifesta is delighted to see that the media attention Manifesta 14 Prishtina has brought to Kosovo’s capital city has also initiated numerous conversations about the isolation of Kosovo in Europe and the need for visa liberalisation for Kosovar citizens. This is in line with the Open Call Manifesta made during their opening press conference on the 20th of July 2022.

The choice to host Manifesta in Prishtina, a post-conflict society with a huge creative cultural scene combined with the current geopolitical context, makes this one of the best-positioned editions in the history of the biennial. In Manifesta 14 Prishtina, everything comes together: a radically collective approach; pressing, relevant topics; amazing, unusual venues, and an under-recognized but exciting city with a youthful population. Manifesta 14 Prishtina is adding poignant urgency to calls to open up the country for visa-free travel. The biennial is supported by iconic ambassadors of Kosovo such as Dua Lipa, who visited last Monday when she was in town to perform at Sunny Hill music festival. She was excited about the quality of the works and the creative potential of her generation of Kosovar and international artists. – Hedwig Fijen, Founding Director of Manifesta

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