Contemporary Art as Democracy Education


  • Inger Fure Grøtting Norske Billedkunstere



Democracy education, which is a fundamental part of the Norwegian school model, has in recent years become especially significant in national and international political climates, which have been characterised by an increased polarisation. As seen through the lens of Hannah Arendt’s political theory conceived in the wake of World War II and affected by the anxiety of totalitarianism, excessive polarisation of political debates leads to the disappearance of a free public space where different voices can be expressed and heard. According to Arendt, a free and public space is an essential condition for democracy to exist. In order to maintain a democratic social model, the school system needs to facilitate these open spaces for dialogue, where students can acquire knowledge, develop the skills and values they need to become active democratic citizens and receive practical training in exercising them. This article aims to explore how an art institution can become a genuine open and public space, where students’ encounters with contemporary art can contribute to democracy education. The argumentation is based on research from a case study at Kunstnernes Hus, where students from an upper-secondary school encountered artworks by Vanessa Baird.



Inger Fure Grøtting, Norske Billedkunstere

Formidlingsansvarleg for Statens kunstutstilling, Høstutstillingen. Tilsett ved Norske Billedkunstnere (NBK).




Hvordan referere

Grøtting, I. F. (2021). Contemporary Art as Democracy Education . Nordic Journal of Art and Research, 10(2).