Initiated by Lasse Lau and Lise Skou
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Project group: visual artist Khaled Barakeh, filmdirector Jamal Amin Alhassani,
filmdirector Siad Mohamoud Ali, film director Sutio Marno, sound engineer Max
Schneider, cinematographer Alex Duprel, visual artists Lasse Lau and Lise Skou.

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Building Democracy is a film project focussing on migration and marginalization of
cultural producers coming from a non-western sphere.  
First part of the project was realized by travelling with a caravan through European
suburbs from June 18 – July 5 2009.

The western attempt to dominate worlds through colonizing other cultures,
languages and political and economic policies has penetrated the concepts by an
ideological universalized version of the arts that exclude ‘The Other’. In order to
question these structures we need to start by handing over the production facilities
to the silent cultural producers with other cultural backgrounds in Europe often
living in stigmatized housing estates.

Building Democracy  takes place as a relay race. We ask the first cultural producer
to produce a short film, and send us through his or her personal network to the
next place somewhere in Europe. Here the lead will find us the next director.
Through the director’s network the caravan's travel route will be mapped. The only
known to us is the starting point in the suburb of Vollsmose in Denmark.

We provide each filmmaker with professional assistance, equipment and 10 minutes
of 16 mm film.
 The produced films will be sent back to the people involved. 
The films will be screened in a public space in the suburbs concerned. 
The involved film directors have all rights to the films. However we are allowed to
screen the films in relation to the project Building Democracy.

Beside from producing short films a documentary is produced that will portray the
social conditions people we will encounter live.

During the travel the caravan will function as our home, vehicle for transportation,
working space, film studio and platform for meetings and exchanges for people
involved and others passer bys. We will enter the caravan without knowing the end
destination, and for a short period of time we will take the role as the migrating
and let the gaze shift position.

The ways we don't listen, greet, give space, or airtime cannot any more be accepted.
We have to acknowledge the diversity of different subject positions, the social and
cultural knowledge, and open up for a variety of cultural identities. This can only
happen by democratizing the commons, and by letting ‘The Other’ come into


For more information on this project go to:

Read talk with free lance curator Tone O. Nielsen.

Production year: 2009

Building Democracy is supported by the danish artscouncil.