Dance and democracy development
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?“ The core team consisting of Danja Erni, Fanny Kulisch and Mia Jabado-Bilitza have developed monthly exchange meetings of facilitators, artists and more professionals from dance, politics and education.
The course of action “recognizing – naming – acting“ opened spaces for expertise and exchange about dissemination processes and is questioned by “critical friends“. “Critical friendship“ is a method to exchange feedback with colleagues whom we are linked to through a shared practice. The observations of “critical friends“ form the base for a critical-constructive feedback and suppose to help the cause of one’s own practice.
recognizing: under this point we addressed different perspectives on social exclusions. These exclusions may occur for example due to experiences of racism or discrimination of disabled persons and persons with a non-binary sexual identity. The artists Dodzi Dougban, Ali Schwartz, MichaelA Daoud, Raphael Moussa Hillebrand and Black Pearl de Almeida Lima shared their respective perspectives and experiences of social exclusions with us that they have experienced in the German dance scene.
Recordings of the Zoom videos of the contributions you can see here.
naming: under the focus “naming“ we gathered aspects on how spaces of learning for various needs and requirements can be designed. In collaboration with the colleagues Senami Zodehougan and Sven Woytek from i-Päd, the initiative for intersectional pedagogy, the participants have worked out a “Code of Conduct“, a collection of agreements for the practice of dissemination. These agreements support work that is sensitive of discrimination and enable finding responsible dealing in situations of dissemination in diverse spaces.
acting: the recent project of Marje Hirvonen and Vivien Tauchmann has been presented and tested in collaboration. In the form of “critical friendship“ these examples were an exercise to categorize oneself, one’s own artistic work and making aware of privileges. The two practical examples from the area of dance and performance have been – in accordance with the event – critically acknowledged by two “critical friends“ from the area of dance dissemination, performance and political education.
“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.