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.

Sislej Xhafa, RKS

Most memorials become invisible over time. However important their narrative might once have been, their significance tends to blur and fade. The Partisan Martyrs’ Monument in Prishtina’s Velania neighbourhood is a case in point.

Designed to help establish the mythology around partisan resistance in the second world war, the monument consists of a star-shaped complex with a globe in its middle. Like the triangular obelisk in the centre of town, it stands for universal “brotherhood and unity”. Since the Kosovo War in 1999, the monument has been overshadowed by the addition of a cemetery for Kosovo Liberation Army soldiers and a grave for former president Ibrahim Rugova.

Now more of a playground than a site of remembrance, its status is widely contested. Within the walls of this now dilapidated monument to martyrs and heroes, Sislej Xhafa has assembled the elements of an alternative narrative: a dysfunctional petrol pump, a chair, a solar panel charger, a mobile phone and a paid attendant. Entitled frosted pocket, the new story unfolds over the 100 days of Manifesta 14 Prishtina.