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Manifesta 13 Marseille introduces Le Tiers Programme
Manifesta 13 Le Tiers Programme fully revealed: a dialogue between the central curatorial programme and the citizens of Marseille. © Manifesta.

MARSEILLE.- Proposed by the Education and Mediation team of Manifesta 13, Le Tiers Programme (The Third Programme) is a mediation initiative placing the central curatorial programme in dialogue with the citizens of Marseille. The programme is made up of a set of interrelated research and practice based projects born from encounters with a variety of local actors, ranging from inhabitants to artists, that delve into the histories and present realities of the city. Going beyond institutional categories, disciplinary divisions, Le Tiers Programme brings together projects that are educational, curatorial, research-based, artistic, and accessible to everyone.

At the core of the programme is the notion of voicing the unheard, including multiple histories and unrepresented narratives of the city’s common heritage, giving an insight into Marseille’s contemporary identity and the complexities of its roots. It studies remarkable histories of local resilience and community cooperation across the city. It investigates “universal” cultural canons, in which not everybody recognises themselves. It exercises new forms of community care and citizenship education and extends the notion of mediation as an instrument for decentralising knowledge production.

Le Tiers Programme has its own temporality in relation to the central curatorial programme, launching nearly one year before the opening of all three programmes of the biennial on the 28th of August 2020, and concluding after the biennial closes its doors on the 29th of November 2020.

“Marseille’s power lies in the encounters between different cultures, networks and people, from Sub-Saharan Africa and Northern Africa to Europe’s Greek and Roman culture to the Americas and beyond. Taking into consideration that Marseille is a mosaic of all these influences, and after years of research, critical reflection and intensive discourse, I am proud of the outcome of the multilayered process that resulted in Le Tiers Programme conceived by our Education and Mediation team. Through Le Tiers Programme, Manifesta 13 offers the opportunity to investigate Europe’s contemporary changing DNA through the specific lens of the city of Marseille, its citizens and its geneaologies and hopefully develop inspirational and constructive proposals for a more inclusive, diverse and socially engaged future resulting in a new form of solidarity”. – Hedwig Fijen, director of Manifesta

Invisible Archives
Invisible Archives showcases selected genealogies and non-institutional memories of various civil initiatives, histories of resilience and community synergies originated and located in particular areas of Marseille. Challenging the city’s “mainstream” discourses, these genealogies, re-narrated by an invited artist or a collective, inhabit the space of Tiers QG (headquarters of Le Tiers Programme) throughout a sequence of eight exhibitions and public programmes which take place over a year, from December 2019 to December 2020.

Invisible Archives aims at reactivating these histories and stories through artistic perspectives, in the form of a dialogue, calling for the recognition of these extraordinary examples of citizen initiatives as a common heritage which is often invisible and ignored by institutions.

Group-Think by Stine Marie Jacobsen
Looking at the tools the national education system provides younger citizens to face social, environmental, and political complexities, one may question how citizenship education can teach pupils solidarity, care, civic consciousness and collective sensitivity.

Danish artist Stine Marie Jacobsen has been invited to develop a long-term project with schools in Marseille. Derived from field research, her project takes shape as a hybrid sports and civic education programme that seeks to expand the current formal education curriculum in schools. The idea is to implement training techniques for students in nonviolent civil protest, first aid and collective intelligence skills. This education programme consists of a series of exercises, rehearsing “crowd bodies”, that stimulate and strengthen cooperation, patience, reflexes, violence prevention, urban resilience, verbal negotiation, responsibility, coping strategies, first aid and group safety in protest gatherings. The exercises were co-written and tested by eighty Marseille students aged from 8 to 18.

The project has resulted in a film and a publication which will be distributed amongst regional schools and will be presented to the public during the biennial.

Al Moutawassit: Cultural Mediation as a Meeting Point
Al Moutawassit : Cultural Mediation as a Meeting Point is a project born from the shared desire to consider the potential of critical pedagogy in the transformation of artistic practices, cultural mediation, curating and teaching on both shores of the Mediterranean. Derived from conversations between the education team of Manifesta 13 in Marseille and the teams of the Atelier de l'Observatoire in Casablanca, and l'Art Rue in Tunis, the project seeks to create an online collaborative workspace for young professionals in fields of contemporary art, formal education, research and social action residing in Algeria, France, Morocco and Tunisia. The main outcome of the project is a publication in three languages on mediation recognised as a form of artistic, educational, curatorial, and institutional practice and as an instrument for decentralising knowledge production.

Must see? Manifesta 13 Tours
Manifesta 13’s main programme Traits d’union.s will work with, within, and across Marseille’s public cultural institutions, activating the possibilities that these institutions still hold and investigating the role they can play in the future.

The guided tours of Manifesta 13 in Marseille will offer a critical perspective on how cultural institutions function as sites of knowledge production and representational power. Mediators will guide the visitors through the Manifesta 13 projects in museum collections, collectively deconstructing dominant storylines and searching for unrepresented narratives. Predominantly, institutions and curators arrange storylines and plots, suggestig to audiences on how to relate to the past and sketch possible scenarios for the future. They play a major role in the construction of cultural canons, but do we all recognise ourselves in these canons? Which stories and whose names have we forgotten, or did we not find important enough to remember? If so, for which reason?

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