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.

RomaMoMa with Farija Mehmeti, RKS

The RomaMoMA Library was created in 2021 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the First World Romani Congress. It is dynamic and nomadic, engaging with local contexts wherever it travels.

Comprising some 150 books on contemporary Roma literary, artistic and cultural heritage, the library’s growing collection showcases this rich Roma legacy, while critically interrogating the violence and oppression against the Roma in Europe. For its sojourn at the National Library of Kosovo, the RomaMoMA Library is accompanied by Farija Mehmeti, an artist renowned for her vibrant portraits of Roma women.

In and beyond the community, women play a crucial role in fostering reproductive and mental health, and in passing down ancient knowledge on healing practices, spirituality, nature and the cosmos. Mehmeti’s subjects are inspired by everyday heroines, albeit often painted from her imagination.

Strong and self-assured, they honour the past while fixing their gaze resolutely towards the future. On this occasion, the library is activated through Adjacent, the mobile knowledge device conceived for RomaMoMA by artist Daniel Baker.