Manifesta originated in the early 1990’s in response to the political, economic and social changes following the end of the Cold War and the subsequent steps towards European integration. Since that time, Manifesta has developed into a traveling platform focusing on the dialogue between art and society in Europe.

So far, Manifesta counts 14 editions, spanning over 26 years and involving 892 participants


Manifesta’s mission, vision and core values convey the future ambitions, direction and underlying values of Manifesta. We consider these powerful tools for our transformation into a platform of co-creation.


Manifesta reshapes the relations between culture and society by investigating and catalysing positive social change in Europe through art, architecture and urbanism in continuous dialogue with the communities of its Host Cities. We believe in creating sustainable legacies in a changing society.

Our nomadic role challenges us to look at the world through the eyes of our Host Cities, generating new visions and perspectives. By combining interdisciplinary with a participatory approach, we empower citizens, art communities and cities to rethink the way we live, work and communicate.


Manifesta is the European Nomadic Biennial, which operates every two years from a different Host City. We explore the geographical, cultural and socio-political DNA of Europe from a local perspective to create interdisciplinary and cultural programmes.

Our programmes aim to reach out to a diverse public but focus on local audiences. As a platform of co-creation, we connect a diverse group of artists, urbanists and thinkers with local citizens and grass-root communities to tackle societal questions raised by the Host City. We aim to be inclusive, open-minded, diverse and green to uphold a culture of equality in all our programmes, people and procedures.

Core Values

Even though each Manifesta edition is site-specific, we stand for and share a set of general core values, a way of looking at the world that is the foundation for all our ambitions and practices.

Model of co-creation

Based on a model of co-creation, we connect local, regional, European and global cities, citizens and communities to create interdisciplinary and cultural programmes.


We stimulate experiments and adopt ground-breaking and unconventional methods, always through artistic projects, imaginative language, architecture and urbanism.


We are nomadic, operating every two years from the perspective of a different European Host City. By embedding Manifesta into the social and cultural realities of the Host Cities, we constantly transform and adapt our practices and methods.


We aim to be inclusive, open-minded, diverse, and green to uphold a culture of equality in all our programmes, people and procedures.

Future-focused: environmental issues

We help imagine alternative and sustainable futures for European cities through our research in real-life contexts. We are knowledge- driven, producing activities by questioning existing social, urban, cultural and political conventions.


Whether the perspective is geographical, historical, political or cultural, the definition of Europe changes continuously. As an experimental, knowledge producing biennial, Manifesta has through the years counteracted the production of Eurocentric or Western- centric canons.

Sustainable and ecological

We work with our Host Cities to develop a long-term, green and sustainable legacy for our programme and partnerships.


We are a public-private foundation so we have a duty to the public to be transparent and accountable, and to always act in the public interest.


Every edition is a partnership of co-creation between the Host City and Manifesta, this mutual commitment results in a relationship of 'engaged autonomy', enabling us to challenge and improve cultural policies and institutions in the long term.