In 1968, a wave of protests swept the world. ‘What if we did everything differently?’ an entire generation seemed to wonder at the same time. Many people, determined and mostly young, began knocking on the doors of the authorities. They rebelled against traditional institutions such as churches, schools and the family as the cornerstone of society; they demanded participation in decision-making, equality and an end to the war in Vietnam.
The spirit of 1968 was contagious. From Amsterdam to Mexico City, from San Francisco to Berlin; it even affected authoritarian countries like Poland and Czechoslovakia. ‘What if …?’. It seems such a simple question, but it can set enormous change in motion. In order to overthrow the status-quo, you first have to be able to look beyond it. Doing that requires imagination, a vision of how things could be different.
1968 became a pivotal year. In the years that followed, the west changed beyond recognition, and in Eastern Europe, the seeds were sown for later dissident movements. It is important to remember the ‘spirit of 1968’, now more than ever. Many of the values from that time are under pressure. Sometimes freedom seems difficult to combine with the call for safety. Censorship may have disappeared, but 'fake news' has taken its place, and equality is all too often overlooked in our liberal democracy. And what has come of the sexual freedom when #Metoo is such a big issue nowadays?
Welcome to the What if … Pop-up Museum. Fifty years after 1968, this exhibition reflects on the implications of that pivotal year and asks what has happened to the ideals of that time. The museum shows personal stories of ‘68ers’ from Eastern and Western Europe and daring ideas from today’s young thinkers. In the What If!? Photo booth you can share your visions for the future. And find out how difficult it is to be a democracy by playing the What If!? Balance game. Because, isn't that what our system is, a balance game?
> Grand opening, March 8 2018, NOWY TEATR, Warsaw, Poland
> March 8 – April 7, 2018, NOWY TEATR, Warsaw, Poland
> May 31 – June 3, 2018, Forum on European Culture, De Balie, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
> June 14, 2018, Grootste Kennisfestival, Deventer
> June – Augustus 11, Bio|Oko, Praag, Tsjechië
> August 25 and 26, 2018, Uitmarkt Amsterdam
> October 27, 2018, Brainwash Festival, Amsterdam
More dates and cities will follow.
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