We are delighted to announce our membership of this important network of democracy festivals. We have recently joined up with other democracy festivals from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Iceland, Lithuania, Hungary and Belgium to share best practice and programming ideas.

According to the Chair of the Democracy Festivals Association, Tone Skindlo Taraldsen: “The vision of the Association is to revitalise democracy by strengthening the link between a political system and citizens as well as creating spaces for dialogue and participation.”

The mission of the International Democracy Festivals Association is to:

  • Nurture links between the existing organisers of democracy festivals.
  • Support joint projects and initiatives among the members.
  • Support the continuous exchange of knowledge and development of the festivals
  • Help new countries organise and set up their own democracy festivals
  • Act as the festivals’ international network and advocate
  • Inspire a larger audience to be interested in the development of participatory democracy.

The association believes “Democracy is more than democratic institutions and written rules. It is a culture that has to be nourished by creating spaces and platforms where people can physically get together, talk to each other, get inspired, exchange opinions and debate their ideas. Democracy Festivals foster active civic engagement, a culture of discussion and critical thinking in response to the alarming rise of authoritarianism and nationalism in our geographic neighbourhood.”

Peter O’Neill, Director of the Imagine! Belfast Festival: “We are delighted to join this important association. It is important for us to network with a variety of festivals and arts organisations, particularly following the Covid pandemic and Brexit which have limited the scope for international co-operation and collaboration. We look forward to working with and learning from our colleagues with these sister festivals.”

Further information on the association is available on its website https://democracyfestivals.org/about

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