Subproject I

Culture – Pre-enacting Democratic Spaces

The Subproject Culture explores the democratizing potentials of performative practices by which artists/activists in different parts of the world seize and appropriate existing institutions. The goal is to investigate how these practices expand the democratic imaginary by

  • experimenting with more democratic and egalitarian ways of ‘inhabiting’ existing institutions,
  • using these institutions to generate public awareness of pressing issues,
  • producing non-academic, activist forms of democratic theory and
  • inventing visions of alternative democratic futures that are explicit and implicit in these practices.


The Subproject concentrates on the prefigurative appropriation of three institutional formats:

Theatrical Occupations

Through theatrical occupations, activists reclaim the physical and/or symbolic space of the theatre in order to experiment with democratic forms of self-organization and to open an artistic space of imagination


Counter-summits subversively appropriate the institutional format and symbolic authority of global summits.

Mock Tribunals

Prefigurative ‘mock’ tribunals appropriate juridical procedures by performatively seizing legal authority, democratizing symbolic aspects of legal judgement and problematizing neglected social issues.