What does make us capable of acting? Democracy shall enable the active participation in political and social decisions of each and everyone of us. In order to become aware of its effectiveness, it is necessary to experience oneself as a vibrant and creation-able part of society, being allowed to exercise one’s right of participation.
Even though our democracy intends to include all people, it is clear that in politics, society and dance many perspectives remain unnoticed. While there is a need for a general reflection of power gaps in between privileged, underprivileged and marginalized social groups, for some time populist voices have been getting louder raising racism and discrimination against minorities and reinforce a fear of powerlessness, aiming at questioning our existing democracy. The field of action “Development of democracy“ addresses the question of how we can assume responsibility benefiting from our skills and knowledge deriving from dance and dance dissemination in order to initiate change that enables participation, (self-)reflection and creative power and thus enhances democratic togetherness.
Therefore, we label, reflect and develop action strategies from and for dance and dissemination practice. We examine approaches of political education in dialogue with dance, looking at intersectional perspectives while encouraging a reflection critical of discrimination in order to make dance and dance dissemination more accessible in the future. Then again, we would like to point out the potentials of dance for political education as we are convinced: dance art, and its dissemination, does not only have an aesthetic-artistic dimension but a political one as well.
Modules for the development of democracy as well as the political dimension in dance and dance dissemination set the focus for this field of action.
The digital series ‚dancingpolitics‘ is dealing with questions like “How much politics does dance need? How much dance do politics need?“ Based on this, a core team consisting of Danja Erni, Fanny Kulisch and Mia Jabado-Bilitza developed monthly exchange meetings for facilitators, artists and more professionals from dance, politics and education. Click here for more information and videos of the digital event series from 2021.
In the following year 2022, the model programme dancing*politics took place from March to October. The aim of this was to test a training programme to promote a critical and empowering attitude towards discrimination in dealing with methods. Underlying questions were, for example: How can I address social inequalities in dance education and political education? And how can we take collective responsibility for the spaces in which we move? The programme was first conceived by Fanny Kulisch and Danja Erni and then further developed and implemented together with Georgina Philps and Ebru Altıntaş. Dancers from all dance communities, activists and trainers in political education were invited to exchange and network within the framework of three consecutive programme parts (online input, basic training and training programme). Further information on the programme can be found here (currently only available in German).
“dancingpolitics – How much politics does dance need? How much dance do politics need?“ is funded by Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung.
Tandems – Dance Dissemination and Political Education.
The focus of the project TANzDEMokratie rests on the concrete exchange of methods for dance dissemination and political education. Tandems, consisting of one person from the perspective of dance dissemination and the other one from political education, were testing and reflecting upon methods and experiences with regard to their potential to reinforce democracy. From a group of in total twenty professionals ten tandems had been meeting from August till October. The five sessions aimed at testing, further develop and later make accessible two existing practicing tools each concerning their potential to strengthen democracy. The practicing tools deriving from political education and dance dissemination could have been merged or dismissed in order to conclude in new results. Paramount is that the tools provide holistic learning processes in political education beyond tools with mainly cognitive approaches.
The professionals were in exchange regarding topics like power criticism, intersectionality, empowerment, critical whiteness and unveiling privileges. Thus shall contribute to the mutual integration of political education processes into dance projects and provide the fundamentals for holistic-oriented methods in political education.
The results were documented, gathered in a tool-box and are accessible here (only available in German).
This project is funded by NATIONALES PERFORMANCENETZ – STEPPINGOUT, supported by Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien im Rahmen der Initiative NEUSTART KULTUR.Hilfsprogramm Tanz.
research – symposium – handout
cooperation of bundeszentrale für politische bildung and aktion tanz – bundesverband tanz in bildung und gesellschaft e.V.
Which political dimensions does dance dissemination have and how can it reinforce democracy? On January 10 and 11, 2020, Aktion Tanz and Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung organized the symposium “Politische Dimensionen der Tanzvermittlung“ (political dimensions in dance dissemination), in order to explore those questions. An engaging brochure now sums up the results of the conference. You can download it here: Broschüre – Politische Dimensionen der Tanzvermittlung
The Trailer of the symposium offers an atmospheric insight.
Which artistic and social strategies and structures take effect in this regard in dance artistic and dance dissemination processes? How to create spaces that provide orientation, belonging and diversity at the same time? How can those spaces open up and translate into other and explicitly non-democratic structures of action and reflection? Which tools are already at disposal and which ones have to be still developed?
Consultation offices and networks
Whoever is interested in the work of political education in the context of dance dissemination projects can get an overview by means of this [incomplete] list of organizations and networks:
Antidiskriminierungsstelle des Bundes
Aufstehen gegen Rassismus!
Die Vielen e.V.
Ehrenamtsstiftung des Bundes
Fachstelle für Kulturelle Bildung (MV)
https://kubi-mv.de/Gegen Vergessen für Demokratie e.V.
KomPREX – Kompetenznetzwerk Rechtsextremismusprävention (bundesweit) mit:
Amadeu Antonio Stiftung (https://www.amadeu-antonio-stiftung.de/),
BAG Kirche und Rechtsextremismus (https://bagkr.de/)
Cultures Interactive (http://cultures-interactive.de/de/)
Gesicht zeigen! (https://www.gesichtzeigen.de/)
Lidice Haus (https://lidicehaus.de/de/home/)
mbr – mobile Beratung gegen Rechtsextremismus
Mut gegen rechte Gewalt
https://www.mut-gegen-rechte-gewalt.de/ Netzwerk Kulturelle Bildung
Online Beratung gegen Rechtsextremismus
Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung
Schule ohne Rassismus
Ufu q e.V.