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"Voices of Democracy" to instil courage

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From "Voices of Democracy" installation, by Democracy International

"Voices of Democracy" to instil courage


75 years ago, on 10 December 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted in the aftermath of two devastating world wars, with the powerful opening words, "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights". These principles have found their place in numerous constitutions, including the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany. However, given the challenges we face today, how do we put these principles in practice?

Written by Caroline Vernaillen

This question took centre stage on Saturday, 9 December 2023, at the Berliner Kulturquartier Silent Green, the former crematorium in Wedding. The exploration was fueled by the "Voices of Democracy" installation, an immersive experience in light, sound, and colour that unfolded above our heads. Crafted by Berlin-based video artist Edda Dietrich, who has explored democracy-related themes for many years, the installation aimed to inspire introspection, challenging attendees to recognize and question their own perspectives and thought patterns.

Watch the aftermovie of the "Voices of Democracy" 

Within the Lightroom for Democracy and Human Rights, we aimed to collectively understand the meaning of human rights, how they influence our lives, and how we can actively defend them. In the backdrop of the current global landscape, and in the face of unprecedented challenges such as wars, climate change, and a notable erosion of democratic principles, the event sought to rekindle the promise of global equality and freedom.

The "Voices of Democracy" installation served as a catalyst for dialogue and exchange, fostering the development of contemporary ideas and forward-thinking democracy projects. Attendees engaged in a shared effort to understand the significance of human rights in the present day and how, collectively, we can put the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into action.

As the world grapples with mounting pressures on fundamental rights, pushing millions into forced migration, the event aimed not only to raise awareness but also to instil courage. It sought to illuminate the potential vibrancy and diversity of a world where democratic values stand firm, and human rights are not just principles on paper but a living reality.

Following the thought-provoking installation, a networking event unfolded, bringing together representatives from the local civil society actively engaged in advocating for democratic values and human rights. The gathering provided a platform to share insights, discuss challenges, and collectively work towards a future where the promises of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights become more than just words.

As we reflect on the 75 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, events like this one underscore the ongoing relevance and urgency of defending these principles. In the face of contemporary challenges, it becomes imperative for individuals and communities to unite, fostering a world where the inherent dignity and rights of all individuals are not just acknowledged but celebrated. The journey towards a more just and equal world continues, fueled by the voices of democracy echoing through the Lightroom, inspiring hope and action for generations to come.

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