The nomadic biennial Manifesta 15, from September 8 to November 24 in the Barcelona metropolitan area, presented this Thursday a large part of its program at the former headquarters of the publishing house Gustavo Gili, which will also be where the its archive, so that beyond the artistic practices there is also a position of “knowledge production”, as explained by the director of the competition, Hedwig Fijen.

Fijen has presented part of the programming – 71%, he specified – with a “radical local scale that also involves dealing with the ecological transition”, with 55% of the participants “local or established in the region”, a fact that it also has to do with the interest in questioning current models and reflecting on the dynamics of growth and decline and the will to reduce the carbon footprint, which does not mean reducing the ambition, because the scope of the contest is very wide: three geographical nodes – Besòs, Llobregat and the Serra de Collserola and Vallès – where sixteen headquarters will be distributed in twelve cities – Badalona, ​​Barcelona, ​​Cornellà, el Prat, l’Hospitalet, Granollers, Mataró, Sabadell, Sant Adrià, Sant Cugat, Santa Coloma de Gramenet and Terrassa – with exhibitions and events around three main themes – Balancing conflicts, Caring and caring for us and Imagining futures – for 78 days, and all this at a cost to visitors of only 15 euros , tickets that will be used for the entire program at the three main venues: Casa Gomis (La Ricarda, El Prat), the monastery of Sant Cugat and the Tres Xemeneies de Sant Adrià.

Among the projects, the director highlighted two that have to do with the re-reading of the industrial history of the metropolitan area such as those of Niels Albers – a structure around the Three Chimneys to express “what could happen if nature take control”– and Lara Schnitger – who weaves fabrics around the chimneys of old textile factories to reflect on female emancipation and the role of women in factories–.

Filipa Oliveira, “creative mediator” of the biennale – a kind of coordinating curator – has also highlighted the interventions of the Senegalese-Italian artist Binta Diaw – a work with women from the African diaspora from L’Hospitalet to Cal Trinxet -, Barcelona’s Lola Lasurt – a “pictorial approach in three choreographed walks” about the group Els Amics del Sol, from 1915 -, the collective Tornen les Esquelles – which will reopen a transhumance path between Granollers and Sant Adrià -, Félix Blume – a hundred bamboo reeds installed in the sea in Badalona that will perform a natural concert, to readjust the installation Rumors del mar – and a new creation by Carlos Bunga, a new creation in an “anti-colonial, feminist and transgenerational” proposal to rehabilitate a space like the central nave of Les Tres Chimeneies.

Alongside these proposals, in Gustavo Gili’s old headquarters there will be an archive of the research developed over the last two years, such as Tania Safura Adam’s project on the collective memory of the “black archives” that will allow a rereading the history of Barcelona from slavery and colonialism, or the “library of democratic imaginations”, by Germán Labrador.

Another aspect that has been given a lot of importance is the educational, with the Fora per fer escola program, with research focused on the progressive pedagogical movements of the Escola del Bosc, the Escola del Mar, Vil·la Joana , the Batec collective and the Fighting Schools, with artistic projects and teacher meetings to “activate these memories and adapt them to the present”, according to its coordinator, Jordi Ferreiro.

Three months to reflect a wider Barcelona and outside the tourist circuits, that makes a “call to action” against the great challenges facing our society, because, as Fijen said, “what happens in Barcelona it is not very different from what happens everywhere, be it London or Amsterdam”.