»In Search of Democracy – or the Public Sphere and Mistrust«
Carolin Emcke and guests
What is the current state of democracy? Has it become, as American theorist Wendy Brown believes, an empty term to which everyone stakes a claim but which no one any longer knows how to fill with legitimate practices and convictions? Has it lost its place in times during which the nation state appears to have grown increasingly irrelevant as a political agent? In times during which private corporations and quasi-governmental secret services can establish apparently extrajudicial regimes undisturbed: how and where can political legitimacy be generated? At the same time, a structural change of the public sphere is transforming the traditional media landscape: discourses about democratic selfdetermination are increasingly relocating to online social networks and, in doing so, are subject to different requirements and opportunities of privacy and being in the public domain, of vulnerability and self-empowerment. In this twofold crisis of representation, in which both the institutions of democracy and of the media are being brought into question, where is the place in which our political, social and aesthetic needs, desires and rights can be negotiated and claimed?