Region of Murcia in dialogue with Northern Africa
In past editions, Manifesta has often focused on the axis between the West and the former East bloc. The aim of Manifesta 8 will be to engage with the north-south divide, specifically with Europe's present-day boundaries with northern Africa and its interrelations with the Maghreb region.
The south of Spain includes a blend of Islamic, Judaic and Christian cultural influences, co-existing for many centuries. Murcia and Cartagena were selected as host cities for Manifesta 8, largely as a result of the intertwining cultures in the region, its strategic location as a Mediterranean enclave and its particular character as an authentic melting pot whose cultural heritage includes Roman architecture (including the amphitheatre in Cartagena and its related museum designed by Rafael Moneo), Visigoth cities, Arab medinas, Baroque churches and Modernist architecture. Given the current international concerns about migration, refugee status, trans-nationalism and the new borders of Europe, both psychological and geographical, the Region of Murcia is a conceptual launching pad for contemporary art projects about how artists respond to these issues within a broader, historical context.