In Search of Democracy 3.0, part 1: We draw your dream for the cities of the future

Can art and theater contribute to better urban development and increased participation? Yes, says Østfold International Theater and Company New Heroes, who will occupy Viken in 2021 with the art project In Search of Democracy 3.0. 


From June to September, people in Drammen, Fredrikstad, Moss and Hole can have their dream for the city of the future drawn by professional illustrators! In Search of Democracy 3.0 addresses certain urban development areas in each city, and asks the people who use them how they want the cities to be designed. We collect ideas by asking a simple question:

What do you miss?

Norway is changing. Not only are municipalities and counties merging, the physical landscape is also changing: motorways are made, new tunnels are being dug, port areas are being moved. It results in both joy and sorrow, depending on who you ask.

What kind of future public space do you want in places you use on a daily basis? How do you want the new urban development projects to be designed? Østfold International Theater asks you, that live in and use the city. Then we draw your answer.

The art project In Search of Democracy 3.0 visualizes people’s dreams of a better city to live in. Video: Harald Fossen

Drawing as participation

A specially designed installation is located centrally in the city. A team of professional illustrators sits around it, and invite passers-by to sit down and share their ideas for the city’s most recent development areas.

Each conversation results in a drawing that is immediately hung up in the installation. The drawings will later be exhibited in various places in the city’s public spaces and other platforms.

A key point is that responsible developers and authorities in the relevant area will eventually have all the ideas handed over as input to the process. The more contributions, the greater the diversity of ideas!

On the drawing board, anything is possible!

In Search of Democracy 3.0 is produced together with – and is based on a concept by – the Dutch company New Heroes. The overall agenda of the art project In Search of Democracy 3.0 as a whole is to examine participation and local democracy.

Our Norwegian variant, which examines urban development and alternative forms of participation, was first implemented as part of Moss’ 2020 city anniversary. The area around the new railway station was in focus. The ideas that came in ranged from water slides for horses to an observatory and museum. View all the great suggestions here.


Concept: Lucas De Man, Pascal Leboucq, Kimberly Major (Company New Heroes)
Production management: Janiek Bouman (Company New Heroes)
Curator-producer Norway: James Moore (Østfold Internasjonale Teater)
Production Coordinator Norway: Fredrik Borgund (Østfold Internasjonale Teater)
Hosts: Anette H. Tømmerholen, Andrea Skotland, Carla Wexels Riser, Eskil Kristiansen, Ellen Røhr-Staff, Lotte Ibela Mofoss
Artists: Katarina Caspersen, Pia Evensen, Agnes Guttormsgaard, Guri Guri Henriksen, Sara Hjardar, Hans Gerhard Meier, Kjersti Synneva Moen, Simen Langeland, Thor Merlin Lervik, Camilla Wexels Riser, Katja Henriksen Schia, Mats Jørgen Sivertsen, Trine Louise Ween, Aurora Wilde, Mads Johan Øgaard.
Sponsored by: The project is part of the IN SITU Act which is supported by the EU program Creative Europe, and has also received support from Viken County Municipality and Byliv Moss.


Tegner våre drømmer for fremtidens Moss

[Translated from Norwegian] Draws our dreams for the Moss of the future.

Moss Avis 13.8.2020:

In Search of Democracy 3.0 senket terskelen for demokratisk deltakelse til et nivå hvor selv den mest beskjedne kunne føle seg trygg og ivaretatt. På Kirketorget var det bokstavelig talt en plass ved bordet for alle: Tegneklare illustratører satt klare ved hver sin pult og ventet på at akkurat du skulle spandere noen minutter på å prate løst og fast om ditt syn på Moss

[Translated from Norwegian] In Search of Democracy 3.0 lowered the threshold for democratic participation to a level where even the most modest could feel safe and taken care of. At Kirketorget, there was literally a place at the table for everyone: Illustrators ready to draw sat prepared at their desks and waited for you to spend a few minutes talking about this and that regarding your opinion of Moss.

Arve Rød: Engasjement Moss!

Press photos

You can download press photos from the production here >>

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In Search of Democracy 3.0 Project Trailer © Stichting Nieuwe Helden. Company new Heroes In Search of Democracy is an art project that embraces several different concepts and expressions. Read more about the project at www.insearchofdemocracy.com