Digital Democracies project brings together creatives and civic, cultural, education and tech partners, to pioneer the development of democratic and innovative digital work in public space.

Public spaces embody our shared humanity, and aim to be free to access, culturally diverse and open to all. These spaces – and the people that animate them – are the engines for both place-making and community development. The places where our individual and collective identities are forged. But they are also often contested, sometimes privately owned and surveilled, governed by invisible infrastructures and social codes that can undermine their capacity for grassroots social and cultural democracy.

Digital Democracies launched in a time of unprecedented reliance on digital technology to connect people, due to launch in April 2020 at the time of the first Covid 19 lockdowns.  The project refocused on the creation of work that not only explored the expansion of digital work in the public realm, but on how we could use technology and culture to foster new connections and support national recovery through culture.

As the project developed over the two-year period Digital Democracies artists and creatives worked with the project to test and explore new methods and ways of reaching and connecting with audiences via festival platforms. As well as experimenting with online methods of peer-to-peer learning, skills and talent development and community engagement.

Digital Democracies explores the issues that these spaces present, through an innovative and democratic programme of commissions, opportunities, events, community engagement and thought pieces.

By connecting partners from across the technology sector, universities, local authorities and artists, Digital Democracies aims to support, strengthen and invigorate digital innovation in the cultural sector. It will improve and diversify the opportunities afforded by technology through democratising access to networks, expertise and opportunities for artists, producers and audiences.

– Samantha Lindley (Creative Director, Threshold Studios)

man standing in front of wooden plinth with speakers on top. Quilt hanging on wall with Ancestral Wisdoms sewn on and plants around the pinth
Ancestral Wisdoms, Ifeatu Nnaobi at Brighton Digital Festival 2021. Photo credit: Phoebe Wingrove

Digital Democracies