Introducing: Cultural and Arts Mediation
In preparation for our Cultural and Arts Mediation Open Call, we introduce the concept of Cultural Mediation and how you can get involved in Kosovo’s first ever Mediation School.
“The main challenge [of mediation] is to explain without explaining… my goal in my visits was to show to people that there is no right or wrong answers, there are simply different layers of reading a project”
– Manifesta 13 Marseille Mediator
What is Cultural Mediation?
Mediation is both a critical approach and a practical way of communicating and ‘mediating’ between audiences, artworks and spaces.
Cultural and art mediation suggests treating each person as an expert in their own experience and culture. This opposes the common idea of educating as transferring “objective” knowledge from a more informed person to a less informed one.
When we refer to art and cultural mediation, we’re referring to the process of acquiring or negotiating knowledge in artistic contexts. This can include artistic creations, the context and the people who encounter these settings. In each host city, Manifesta explores existing practices in the field of cultural mediation, knowledge production and education, imagining possible approaches together with a local team of Mediators.
What training will there be for Mediators?
From February to the opening of the biennial in July 2022, there will be a series of six paid training weekends, otherwise known as ‘Mediation School’. The sessions of the Mediation School will focus on reflecting on the project of Manifesta 14 Prishtina, as well as co-developing mediation approaches for when the exhibition is open to the public.
Hivzi Sylejmani Library, the Brick Factory, the Grand Hotel and Adem Jashari Square are some of the proposed main venues for the coming biennial. These spaces and their individual contexts, will be explored during the Mediation School. The training prepares the mediators to facilitate the interaction between these spaces and the visitors.
After this training, you will have developed the skills and approaches to practice cultural and artistic mediation at Manifesta 14 Prishtina and in other professional creative settings.
What will I do as a Mediator?
After your Mediation School collaborative training, you will work as a Mediator at the main venues of Manifesta 14 Prishtina. You will engage directly with the public, through various practices such as walks, guided tours and workshops. Rather than explaining or teaching about artworks, you will be in dialogue with the audience about what the work means to them, their individual context and the context where Manifesta 14 is situated. You will also facilitate community-based engagement projects.
Why should I become a mediator?
Joining our team of Cultural and Arts Mediators will give you the opportunity to expand your skills in facilitation, collective research and audience engagement within the arts. You will work within the Education and Mediation Department and be part of an exciting, international and fast-paced cultural environment.
Appraisals from the Mediators of Manifesta 13 Marseille
“The fact that each of us came from different backgrounds greatly enriched the experience. We brought what we had in us too, our culture and our way of seeing the world. Mediation is, therefore, a tool for exchanges and meetings.”
“What I learned from working as a mediator during Manifesta 13 is that you’re never really prepared for your audience’s “vibe”, if I can call it that. The various encounters with people increased my ability to listen, understand how you should direct your tour towards understanding what is the energy of the group rather than distributing a tight, pre-prepared discourse. I think the training for this was a good test, in order to learn strategies, but also in order to be okay with the fact that you don’t know everything. Rather, you have the opportunity with tours to create forms of collective learning, sharing…”