The European Nomadic Biennial Manifesta takes place every two years in a different European city. The biennial rethinks the relations between culture and society, investigating and catalyzing positive social change in Europe through contemporary culture in a continuous dialogue with its host city. Manifesta's founding director, Hedwig Fijen invited the architectural bureau MVRDV led by Winy Maas to develop an urban research of the city of Marseille.
This new methodology, is a manner to decipher the complex settings of the cities that invite the biennial. In the study, multilayered structures of religion, ethnicity, geography, culture and politics are explored. Breaking away from its particular focus on art and culture, Manifesta has become an interdisciplinary and participatory program that aims to embrace holistic approaches that are uniting political, cultural and ecological questions within the host city.