IBS students visited Manifesta 12 in Palermo, Sicily
Professor Delia Vékony says: We spent 4 days in this incredible city that is mind-blowing in many ways: it is a multicultural centre that is completely about acceptance, co-existence and heterogeneity, architecturally it is beautiful and the people are extremely kind. It is a city that is alive, not many tourists, real people coming to live there from literally all over the world.
The architectural wonders consist of the most amazing palazzos and churches built in the wide range of Byzantine, Renaissance, Baroque styles and a mixture of all these. However, the most unique visual aspect of the city is the coming together and a beautiful coexistence of Muslim (Arabic) and Christian (Norman) architecture and visual culture in the same buildings. If the two can create such a beautiful fusion visually, why think that in real life such a coexistence is impossible?
The trip concentrated on the contemporary art event Manifesta 12. The theme of this nomadic European biennale was the garden, used as a metaphor for today's global issues (The Planetary garden. Cultivating coexistence).
The event, consisting of very thought-provoking, accurate and relevant contemporary artworks fit the spirit of Palermo perfectly, as it is a place where differences coexist without real tension, and has been the case for the past 600 years.