Yesterday had been a long day with a lot of visitors at club désirer at Bar 7 Rayos. The first visitors had been the people from Urbano, a cultural centre for homeless people in Montevideo. The centre offers workshops and activities every afternoon like art, theatre, video, literature and more. They were telling us about their project of a documentary video about life on the street. They shared their ideas about the double meaning of representation, political and symbolic, with us and about the mechanisms of visibility or invisibility that allows or forbids democratic participation. They told us their life stories and explained the system of refuges in Montevideo, how it works, the difficulties and shared their future plans with us. Melina and Maurizio are students at the IPA. They will be teachers and it for sure will be good for democracy that they will be able to teach classes in the future.
6pm and more visitors are coming to club désirer. We try to define what we think is democracy, how we define it personally and how democracy is related to other terms and how we classify them: Equality, justice, freedom, participation, cooperation, respect, cohabitation. The president of the chamber of Representatives, Alejandro Sanchez – who initiated the project „30 años más democracia“ – talks about participation as the central idea in everyday democratic life. We should overcome the idea that democracy expresses itself in more ways than just voting every four or five years. We discuss the tensions between content and form of participation and the individual spaces in which we participate in democratic processes. Does this participation gives us another feeling? The topic of the time is coming up – the time that is necessary to be able to participate and the time that is needed to express and communicate the different forms and ideas. The definition of priorities doesn’t leave much space to allow the time within the decision making process or it only does to a small number of people. There is not much chance for a real democracy, if there is not a responsible and influential, long and sustainable dialogue and a search for consensus.
The day ended with some music. Juan Bervejillo sang some songs about us and the relation between us, the state and the system(s). Here is a link to one of his classic abumss from the 80ies and his song Presidente