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Art Museums and Democracy


People's faith in democracy is crumbling. On one hand, political persuasions sway elections in ways that we have never seen before. On the other, communities have a real need for genuine dialogue within this splintering condition. There are multiple positions and histories from which a better understanding can be borne, before chasing solutions that politics give the illusion to provide. Museums play a vital role here, in enabling these positions to be understood and allowing them to be heard.

In this Dialogue, Bart De Baere (M HKA), Manuel Borja-Villel (Museo Reina Sofía) and Charles Esche (Van Abbemuseum) discussed the role the museum can play in allowing a new, perhaps more poetic way of navigating this terrain. Together, they asked what is the 'imaginative possibility' of art museums, which have a double responsibility for and to their publics.

Recorded at MACBA, Barcelona, December 2016

Video editor: Record produccions

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