Acts Of Democracy: 15 projects to explore in September 2021

From freshly-published books, current exhibitions, digital exploration journeys, arts&culture projects, podcasts, films, essays and studies, we’ve hand-picked fifteen acts of democracy for you to explore and get curious about this month:

  • The exhibition Diversity United presents the artistic face of Europe and transforms the iconic halls of Tempelhof Airport in Berlin into a temporary exhibition space. The works of 90 artists from 34 countries showcase the phenomenal diversity and vitality of the contemporary European art scene – from Portugal to Russia, from Norway to Turkey. The exhibition can be visited until 10 October 2021.
  • Intersectionality Matters! brings a podcast hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw, an American civil rights advocate and a leading scholar of critical race theory.
  • Peter MacLeod has published an article in the context of the Canadian election, proposing that Elections Canada should be renamed Democratic Services Canada. “It should not be necessary to engage in active democratic citizenship every four years. It should be treated as a national priority, with daily attention, a substantial budget, and an official mandate.”
  • Imagine Human Rights is a project dedicated to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was established in 1948 and has 30 articles. The issues of human rights are masterfully illustrated in this magazine, which includes works by 56 internationally famous artists and clearly shows the connection in human life across the world and how important variety is. A gifted curator, Petra Stelzer knew how to successfully integrate art with human rights. All contributions are written in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish, which are the six official UN languages.
  • Dismantled is a climate justice podcast for intersectional environmentalists and voices. Intersectional Environmentalist (aka IE) is a digital platform that provides resources, knowledge, and action actions to assist the environmental movement deconstruct oppressive institutions. They believe that discussions on the climate catastrophe should focus on and be led by those who are most affected: Black, Indigenous, and POC communities.
  • What is Europe to you? is the ongoing photographic journey of the artist Lisa Borgiani through the main European cities and capitals. After the mapping of the city, the author chooses the neighborhoods and the people to portray in a spontaneous and unexpected way asking everyone the same question: “What is Europe to you? What does Europe means to you in one word?” The artistic work aims to represent the European sentiment through a dialogue between images and words linked to the stories of each individual people who make up the community, without any limit of nationality, profession, social and cultural background
  • How to fix Democracy?” explains Ivan Krastev in the 7th episode of How to Fix the Future, a video and podcast series that explores practical responses to the threats facing democracies around the world. The project created by the Bertelsmann Stiftung and Humanity in Action with the support of Andrew Keen offers interviews prominent thinkers, writers, politicians, technologists, and business leaders. Ivan Krastev is chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia, permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, and speaker at the EFC AGA and Conference 2019.
  • “Democratising Democracy: Feminist Perspectives” explores the factors that affect and enable women’s political effectiveness in different democratic arenas. It argues that women’s political interests are not necessarily influenced by their sex, but by their “political apprenticeship”, or pathway into politics. To enhance the potential of women’s political participation, democracy itself must be democratized; including building new pathways into politics.
  • Will “Lottocracy” save democracy from itself? The Nation interviewed Hélène Landemore on her book Open Democracy. “Today’s problem is not democracy in and of itself, but the present democratic paradigm, which is excessively elitist and incapable of meeting people’s democratic expectations.”           
  • Beyond Government: Democracy in Trade UnionsAnthony Zacharzewski has written a Democratic Society blog about this, and is calling out to unions, their sectors and branches who would like to rethink representation and union democracy.           
  • The A, B and C of Democracy – Luca Belgiorno-Nettis and Kyle Redman provide a handy new book about the basic methodology of deliberative democracy and why we need to update our democratic institutions.          
  • Jon Alexander is writing a new book –Citizens– to be published in early 2022. You can sign up to get involved here.            

Acts of Democracy is a monthly, carefully curated selection of projects and ideas supporting democratic citizen engagement. Have you got a project we should feature here? Tell us what’s good!