Dialogue, Polis, and Democracy

Dialogue, Polis, and Democracy

Fri, Apr 19, 2024 | 10:00 am
Fri, Apr 19, 2024 | 6:00 pm

Together with Pezhman Golchin from the Writers in Exile of the PEN Club Germany, Ideal Spaces Foundation wants to invite you for a series of workshops, dealing with a topic that has become critical today: the capability for true dialogue as a prerequisite for democracy. The aim of the workshops is to provide a deeper understanding of the connection between dialogue, free citizenship and democracy, all of them threatened today; and to encourage the participants to disseminate the need for all three of them.

The first workshop will start on April 19, 2024, at 10 am CET, at the foundation’s venue, Nesslerstr. 16, 76227 Karlsruhe, Germany. Register for event at the bottom of this page.

Dialogue is more than just talk, or discussion. Dialogue, from the Greek dia-logos, rests on respect for the other with whom I speak, not on defending or pushing through my own position. Dialogue is an open-minded and respectful conversation; to look at an issue from different perspectives, with the intention being to find out something together with the partner(s) in the conversation. A dialogue is rooted in respect. This includes the other’s right to be (and to remain) in opposition to me; and to make an exchange with the other on the base of argument, not on the base of feelings/emotions or ideology. In a true dialogue, we can find out something in common despite the fact that we have different positions.

The capability to lead a dialogue in this sense, a true dialogue, is an endangered species today. Moreover, by its very origin in our Western culture, the capability for dialogue is linked to the idea of free citizenship – in its origins, the concept of the democratic polis, the Greek ‘city state’ – and hence, to the idea of democracy. Dialogue, free citizenship, and democracy intrinsically belong together, and without the capability for dialogue, free citizens, democracy, diversity, and tolerance become endangered species, too.

As a premise for liberty and democracy, dialogue has been eroded in recent years, due to a combination of political, economic, and social forces addressed in our workshops. Due to this erosion, the capability to lead a dialogue not only needs respect and inner openness, but active learning by doing. In our workshops, we want to offer this, together with the active involvement of the participants. Each workshop is a dialogue, together with the participants.

The workshops are free of charge, and will be held as hybrid events, that is, Online participation is also possible. But we strongly recommend to participate physically, since a dialogue is best possible in person.

For those physically attending, travel and accommodation cannot be paid by our foundation; but we are happy to provide you with documentation that you may require to apply for travel grants. Please reach out to Emőke Bada (emoke.bada@idealspaces.org) for assistance in procuring such files.

Fill the form below to register for the event.

Workshop Registration Form: Dialogue, Polis, and Democracy

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