Citizens’ Assemblies in Bonn and Dresden 

Through Citizens’ Assemblies in Bonn and Dresden, the museum becomes a democratic space – becoming more open and participatory.

Nov. 3 – 5 and Nov. 18 – 19, 2024, Bundeskunsthalle  (Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany)

Nov. 11 – 12 and Nov. 25 – 26, 2024, Kunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (SKD, Museum of Decorative Arts and Design)

In the lead-up to the launch of the exhibition All In! Redesigning Democracy, the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn and the Kunstgewerbemuseum (SKD) in Dresden have commissioned two citizens’ assemblies. The assemblies’ main goal was to develop a list of recommendations aiming at changing both institutions into becoming more open and participatory than they are today. Thus the institution itself becomes a democratic space – a deliberative museum. 

The issue is vital and more pressing than ever.  A recent European Commission study shows that going to museums and participating in cultural activities strengthens democracy and social cohesion. It does so independently of a person’s socio-economic background or education level.

In collaboration with Democracy Next and the nexus Institute, around 35 randomly selected citizens came together for four days in each venue to discuss how the two institutions could become more open, welcoming, and inclusive. Together with graduates from the MA Information Design program at Design Academy Eindhoven and the videographers Karnik Gregorian and Uwe Wröbel, the process and the outcomes of the citizens’ assemblies will be processed into an artistic multi-media installation and presented in the exhibition. Both host institutions have committed to implement the citizens’ recommendations or react to them in another appropriate way.

Team: Bundeskunsthalle, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (SKD), Claudia Chwalisz (DemocracyNext), Ieva Cesnulaityte (DemocracyNext), James MacDonald-Nelson (DemocracyNext), nexus Institut, Design Academy Eindhoven (Jennifer Carniel, Marco Ferrari, Augustina Lavickaite, Susanna Tomassini, Louisa Wolf), Karnik Gregorian, Uwe Wröbel, Amelie Klein, Vera Sacchetti