The first segment of the Public Programme, to coincide with the biennial opening days, discusses borders as problematic, out-dated geo-political and intellectual constructions, to be questioned and rethought. Starting from Mayor Leoluca Orlando’s proposition that mobility is a human right, Borderless looks at future scenarios on migration and explores the strategies available to citizens, NGOs and thinkers to shape the borderless world to come.
The programme of performative and discursive interventions tackles crucial issues in the global discourse about international mobility, exploring the topics of migration, refugee status, displacement, belonging, identity and freedom of movement or its denial through the lenses of arts, theory, politics and activism. Manifesta 12 takes Palermo as a testing ground for contemporary and future possibilities; the Mediterranean city, always a place for encounter and clash of religions, myths and cultures, becomes the stage upon which participant speakers, artists, musicians, activists can try and imagine the open Europe of tomorrow while addressing the many struggles of today.
Manifesta 12 invites a broad range of international voices, from artists and filmmakers to theorists and policymakers, to participate in a discussion involving local realities, associations and individuals active in the territory of Palermo and Sicily. The purpose is both to analyse the controversy arising from the framing of international mobility as a global problem, and to pinpoint ways to not only accept migrations but to also understand them as a cultural and economic resource.