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Mini-Festival ''Democracy Now & Then''

Typ akce: 
Zvláštní akce
Cílové publikum: 
Dospělí, Mládež, Rodiny
Jazyk akce: 
Dutch, English, French

On the occasion of the "Open Day of the European Institutions", the House of European History invites you to take part in the mini-festival “Democracy Now & Then”, which takes place inside and outside the House of European History. This mini-festival will bring to life the contents and messages of the museum for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Thematic guided tours, sharing of testimonies and creative workshops on democracy, as well as artistic guided visits for families and 'hands-on' and 'hearts-on' activities for kids will animate the museum and its surroundings throughout the day.


Thematic guided tours (in the permanent exhibition)

Is democracy a fixed part of our heritage or something that is always evolving? From an Athenian 5th-century-BCE ballot selecting Themistocles for exile, to campaign material for the Polish semi-free elections organised in June 1989 by Solidarność, ancient and recent objects from our permanent exhibition reveal the struggles of European people to gain and regain their right to political self-determination. 

45 minutes
Registrations on the day at the museum

  • 11.00: EN
  • 11.30: FR
  • 12.00: NL
  • 13.00: EN
  • 13.30: FR
  • 14.00: NL

Interactive workshop and debate (indoors and outdoors)
Registration under this link. Walk-ins are welcome.

Creative Workshops: Magic of Decision - interactive installations with audience participation
Flying laboratory of Theatre Practise (FLAB) by Archa Theatre

The House of the European History will be transformed into a gallery with interactive installations at various spots, on topics such as the role of democracy and voting. The audience is encouraged to participate, facilitated by artists and volunteers, to create collective art works, share testimonies and play visual games.

At each spot the visitors will be able to create an image or recording. It will be fragmental, emotional, visual and musical, touching upon themes such as decision-making and the role of elections. The results will be reflected during the following debate.


Sharing of testimonies on experiences of voting and civic engagement

  • Participatory debate “Elections - a cornerstone or Achilles’ heel of democracy?”


  • Jacek Koltan (European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk) on the role and relevance today of the 1989 Polish elections
  • Karel Janecek (Democracy 21) on voting systems and methods today, with regard to past experiences
  • Moderator: Simina Badica, curator at the House of European History

 In collaboration with the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) and Archa Theatre

Family activities (in the permanent exhibition)

Artistic Guided Tours (6+)

In this 45 minute theatrical tour you will discover significant steps in European history related to democracy. Discover what happened in this tour.

  • 13.00 (EN / FR / NL)
  • 14.30 (EN / FR / NL)
  • 16.00 (EN / FR / NL)

Create your dream for Europe (6th floor) - All day

What are your dreams for the future of Europe? Write it down on a poster! A portrait picture of you will be made and potentially displayed later in the museum. Afterwards you can leave your dream in a ‘cloud’ of other European dreams.

Create your own newspaper - Drop in activity from 14.30

Find a spot in the museum you really love and create a headline for a newspaper. With many different headlines, we can create a “group newspaper” together! Then, “deliver” your newspaper later to other visitors!

Play snakes and ladders - European history game on a giant board (outside 15.00 - 16.00)

Snakes and Ladders is a worldwide classic board game. It is played between two or more players with numbered squares in a grid. ‘Ladders’ and ‘snakes’ are printed on the board, each connecting two specific board squares. Roll the dice and try to get to the top!

Music - 17.30  Choral singing: “The Singing Revolution”

The “Singing Revolution” is a commonly used name for the events that took place between 1987 and 1991 that led to the restoration of the independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. In 1989 the Baltic Way or Baltic Chain was organised as a peaceful political demonstration where approximately two million people joined their hands to form a human chain spanning 675.5 kilometres across the three Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, which were considered at the time to be constituent republics of the Soviet Union.

To mark these events, the Brussels-based choirs: Estonian choir BEENE, Brussels Latvian Choir and Lithuanian choir BE LIETAUS are presenting a joint concert featuring songs from spontaneous gatherings and mass singing demonstrations back in the late19 80s. The programme also contains the joint piece “The Baltics are waking up”, a beautiful song in three languages and sometimes referred to as the joint anthem for the Baltics.