Hedwig Fijen was born in the Netherlands and studied Historical Science and Art History at the University of Amsterdam. She is the founding director of Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary art, since its origin in Rotterdam in 1993.
Fijen is in charge of all aspects of the Manifesta organization including the selection of Host cities, thematic content and the curatorial selection. The final execution of the concept of the curators is her responsibility. Under Fijen’s direction Manifesta has been developed into the fourth most influential biennial in the world. Over this period, Fijen has vastly expanded Manifesta’s operations with theoretical and educational projects including the Manifesta Journal, Manifesta Publications and the Manifesta Coffee breaks. Fijen is currently working on concurrent editions of the Manifesta Biennial: Manifesta 11, to be hosted by the City of Zürich in 2016 and Manifesta 12, which will take place in 2018 in Palermo.