Manifesta, the nomadic European Contemporary Art Biennial, originated in the early nineties in response to the political, economic and social changes following the end of the Cold War and the subsequent steps towards European integration. Since then, Manifesta has developed into a travelling platform that focuses on the dialogue between art and society in Europe. Manifesta is a project based on community: its success depends on the collaboration between the international and local actors and the involvement and engagement of the local communities.
The City of Palermo was important for Manifesta’s selection board for its representation of two important themes that identify contemporary Europe: migration and climate changes and how these issues impact our cities. The multi-layered and deeply condensed history of Palermo – being occupied by almost every European civilization and having long-term connections with Northern Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean over the last 2000 years – has left its traces throughout this multi-cultural society at the heart of the Mediterranean area.