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Train Your democratic Muscles

Train Your Democratic Muscles

Resilience, Protest, Resistance

The 2020 lockdowns around the globe put on pause the mass mobilisations world-wide. The restrictions to stop the spread of the virus, controlled the ways bodies gravitated public and private spaces and also claimed the need of obedience to national governments under the “for your own safety” argument. The news about the pandemic were highlighted in the media worldwide, and with that news about activism and arts were outside the radar.

The world couldn’t keep silent. With or without a pandemic the inequality, the corrupt elites, the repression, the broken democracies, the mainstream media control, were still happening across the world. A call on civil disobedience, a need of turning resilience into resistance. A need to train democratic muscles.

Those dynamics of social control have not stopped civil society to mobilise despite its consequences. Several varieties of political mobilisation were shaping national politics worldwide, from the protests in Lebanon to the anti-coup in Myanmar (2021) passing by the anti abortion Ban in Poland (2021), the pro-Navalny protests in Russia (2021) , the Black Lives Matter movement in USA (2020), the protests in Colombia (2020), the feminist protests #niunamenos in Latin America, the farmers protests in India or the Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill Movement in Hong Kong.

This talk will address the role of art, artists, cultural organizers, and social movements, with a special emphasis in Lebanon, Colombia, Brazil and Syria.

A call on civil disobedience, a need of turning resilience into resistance. A need to train democratic muscles.

Bedouin Burger


- Lynn Adib is a Syrian singer - songwriter based in France and exploring Arabic music through Jazz and contemporary music. She had been collaborating with many artists, her latest is with Zeid Hamdan.The project is called Bedouin Burger.
- Bachar Mar-Khalifé is a French/Lebanese singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist.
- Zeid Hamdan is a Lebanese music composer in bands such as Soapkills, Bedouin Burger, The New Government, Hiba Mansouri, Kanjha Kora, Maryam Saleh, Maii Waleed and "Zeid and the wings".
- Moderator: Christina Hazboun

Christina Hazboun Photo by Abd Doumani

Part 2. THE SCENES - Now what? A cultural sector in exile

- Anthony Semaan is the founder and director of Beirut Jam Sessions.
- Amani Semaan is the festival director of Beirut & Beyond International Music Festival.
- Nabil Canaan is a Lebanese-Swiss cultural producer and social entrepreneur, director of Station arts platform in Beirut, Lebanon.
- Moderator: Christina Hazboun, is a Palestinian sonic agent and collector of eclectic aural memorabilia. Her main energy is focused in the field of music PR and Communication, in addition to researching music and its relationship to space, time and identity. She is co-founder, producer and host of DanDana podcast on SOAS Radio, radio host and producer of Musical Musings on Movement Radio and is an instigator of musical mischief related to the SWANA region.

MUTE, Khaled Barakeh exhibition. Photo: Guevara Namer

Part 3. THE STREETS- A global wave of movements

- Thomas Hylland Eriksen is an anthropologist, writer and public debater
- Khaled Barakeh is a Syrian born, Berlin based conceptual artist and activist.
- Diego Marín is a Colombian historian and journalist based in Oslo.
- Larissa Avelar is a Brazilian activist, behind the feminist movement #Elenão in Norway. Leader of LAG.
- Moderator: Cecilie Hellestveit is a Norwegian writer and academic with broad experiences from conflict-ridden societies around the world. From 2021, Hellestveit is chair of the board of Oslo World.

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