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ERINN SAVAGE – Performance
Tomorrow 15:00 GMT


Dissent,too, is a way to engage with those in power.

Civic participation is what drive democracies. But our system of governance values quiet, dutiful civic actions such as voting, volunteering, lobbying much more than critical actions such as dissent or protest. The later are often met with ire and force while the other is hailed as a sacred duty. Alexis de Tocqueville once said that the health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of functions performed by private citizens. That is the central theme of this project.

Expressions of Dissent

Dissent to me is the public manifestation & exhibition of collective distrust in traditional institutions.

Dissent can take on various forms. From trolling politicians on social media, boycotts & non cooperation with authorities to marches and hunger strikes in some cases.

Dissent as public claims-making

Dissent is a disruption to ‘life as normal’, It presents ‘an alternative to promised utopia’. Public dissent usually becomes a time when people take over the public policy debate.

The Taxonomy of Dissent

While no social movement is the same, I decided to classify them into these categories for easier understanding.

The anatomy of dissent

Through this project, I sought to create a taxonomy and anatomy of dissent. If the taxonomy familiarizes us to the different types of structures of a protest movement, the anatomy tells us about the people that populate it.


Even though social movements are more likely to be successful if they are nonviolent and engage more than 5.5% of the population, there is stark gap between how people think about social movements. When asked to say 5 words about protest, most people said the word violence and over tow-thirds of the people I interviewed said that they did not engage in causes either after or before attending a 'protest/ march'.


Before I started working on proposing any kind of an idea, I thought about the values I wanted my proposal to reflect.

WE the People- The Museum of Dissent

WE the people, combines public pedagogy and participatory design to create a Museum of Dissent. It is a co-curated and co-created space where citizens can educate themselves about the various ways of critically participating in government. The basis of the idea is simple: it is by the people, for the people and of the people.

The Role of the museum

In order for the museum to be equitable & just, it had to serve a diverse and expanded audience and through this exercise, I tried to outline the exact roles I wanted the museum to fill as an institution in before, during and after times of civic crisis.

How the museum works

This is a step by step description of how the museum functions and how people can get involved in the working of this space.

Dear Democracy, Dear Protester

As part of my project, I asked people to fill in postcards marked Dear Democracy and Dear Protester. These are just a few examples of postcards I have received so far. This seeks to start conversations and promote solidarity among people.

Virtual Museum Tour

The citizens can also access all these exhibits virtually all around the world through the website and the online platform. They can also apply to have the museum travel to their city where pop-up exhibitions could be held or to arrange workshops in their schools, universities or community centers.