Performing Democracy explores the notion of democracy among citizens of Serbia, Kosovo and North Macedonia through artistic research and co-creation of a joint experimental forum developed in the form of an online video archive and participative theatrical performances.
Creating a collective participatory artwork in collaboration with citizens across three participating countries, the project aims to rethink the complexity of the current moment while questioning if we can agree on the meanings inscribed in basic democratic concepts such as tolerance, responsibility, solidarity and justice? Can we discuss any of these concepts with those who don’t share our opinions, beliefs and values? How do we imagine a system that could confront the challenges of pandemics, public health crises, climate change, growing inequalities, and migration crisis? Can we work together beyond our national borders to collectively create a vision for a better future? How do we address empathy beyond our interest groups and are we able to recognize our individual interests in the notion of commons and collective?
It starts with a question: “What is democracy?”be under increasing threat across the Western Balkans, Europe and the world at large. It is a starting point for filmed video statements in whichselected representatives of numerous and diverse groups engaging audiences across Europe in the discussion about democracy. While constantly enlarging the pool of voices and positions, the project is developing a large dialogical platform for voicing different opinions and views on relevant issues related to the challenges democracy is facing today on the global scale: health crises, climate change, various forms of inequality, technological boom, access to knowledge and information, media manipulation. Through facilitation of an open dialogue, using art as a space where freedom of speech and expression are not only proclaimed but genuinely practiced, the Performing Democracy project is opening a space for wide participation, sharing, listening and mutual respect in an attempt to draw the outlines for much-needed bottom-up transformation of our societies.