How does democracy survive us?


Pop-up Museum

For a few decades, democracy seemed inevitable here in Europe, but in recent years the system is under pressure. In the travelling How to Survive a Democracy pop-up Museum we look back at the recent history of dictatorships in Europe, and, in the Democracy Laboratory, we examine with you an the help of provocative games and art installations the value of democracy today.

Only two generations ago, a large part of Europe lived under dictatorships, in countries like Spain, Portugal, Romania, Poland and the Baltic states. Only in 1991 did the last authoritarian regimes disappear from Europe – barring that of Belarus. Nevertheless, by now we seem to have forgotten how remarkable it is that we can elect our leaders every few years. The hard-won freedom is under threat everywhere. In some countries the rule of law is rapidly being dismantled, the far right is on the rise, there is a deep distrust of politicians, and even confidence in the system itself is declining. So, how to survive democracy? Or should we ask: how does democracy survive us?

In the heart of the How to Survive a Democracy Pop-up Museum you’ll find the Democracy Lab. With the help of playful - but at the same time serious - games and art installations visitors can discover if they feel democracy is under attack. There is also a focus on the recent dictatorial past of Europe. In a series of personal video portraits Europeans share their ‘survival strategy’ during dictatorship. Also you find out what the tactics of dictators are to stay in power and discover who is the longest sitting dictator of the moment.

Because of Covid-19 we made part of the exhibition available online. Go to Boulevard Europa and play the Boiling Frog Game, find out how to become a perfect populist and enjoy the video series How to Survive a Dictatorship.

How to Survive a Democracy Pop-up Museum is an initiative of Stichting Autres Directions and produced by Aldus’ producties. It is made possible by Studio Europa Maastricht, Act for Liberty and European Fund for Citizens.

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Pop-up museum on your event?!

The How to survive a democracy pop-up museum travels throughout Europe. Do you want to show it on your location or event? That’s possible! The exhibition suits very different venues, because the size is flexible. The pop-up museum is for example very suitable for festivals or for a longer period in semi-public spaces. The games and video’s may interest a very broad audience and age group (12 - 100 years). Because the exhibition forms a great discussion starter, we also offer a side program of workshops and education programs. Are you interested? Send us an email at


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