After the world tour of Koen Vanmechelen's pop-up Cosmocafes was temporarily halted due to the pandemic, the artist rekindles this remarkable initiative in Venice. In the Monastery of San Nicolo, the first post-pandemic Cosmocafe will be held on April 24. The Monastery is home to the Global Campus of Human Rights. It represents more than 100 different universities and is the most prominent institution for human rights education globally, initiated and supported by the European Union.
The Cosmocafe is part of Vanmechelen’s evolving Human Rights Pavilion, launched at the previous Biennial (in 2019) and takes shape as an evolving OPUS over different years during a world tour through nearly all continents. This project is supported by the Global Campus of Human Rights, Fondazione Berengo, and the MOUTH Foundation. The OPUS is based on dozens of Cosmocafes, special meetings, and discussions with notable thinkers and doers. So far, more than 20 Cosmocafes have been organized in various countries (Chili, South Africa, Mexico, Australia) and with multiple partners (Peace Research Institute, Lumos, Human Rights Commission). At the Monastery of San Nicolo, the topic is Homo Faber, Man as Maker of his destiny and environment.
The eight participants in this first post-pandemic Cosmocafe are Akosua Adoma Owusu (filmmaker), Alessandro Lenzi (author and director), Carlo Giordanetti (creative director & CEO of Swatch Art Peace Hotel), Chido Govera (mushroom farmer, educator & entrepreneur), Manfred Nowak (Global Campus Human Rights), Rana Dasgupta (novelist & essayist), Xiaolu Guo (novelist, essayist & filmmaker) and Koen Vanmechelen.