Reassembling Democracy: Ritual as Cultural Resource (REDO)
Ritual actions reveal and mobilize society's cultural values and resources. Can rituals also contribute to enhance democracy or to change society?
Odd Andersen/AFP/NTB Scanpix
Main case: The significance of July 22
In the REDO project we have asked what religious and cultural rituals mean, both to individuals and to their collectives, and we have examined how rituals are effective in society today. The REDO project’s main case has been the significance of the terrorist attack on Oslo and Utøya July 22, 2011, including ritual responses (trial against Breivik), memory work and public democracy debates, as well as analysis of the religious-extremist parts of Breivik's writings and statements.
We have been particularly concerned with young people’s opinions and experiences, but also with how people in general have come together to create new ritualized forms and expressions to commemorate July 22, and what this does to them and society.
In October 2014, the REDO project held a multi-workshop, inspired by the charette method, for young adults in Oslo to share memories from the time after July 22, their experiences from the years that have passed since, and thoughts on what binds us together in communities - now and in the future. Watch the film from the July 22 Examined workshop, and read more about this project by following the link below:
About the project
In the REDO project we are particularly interested in new forms of participatory democracy, where respect for individual differences and the need for community are negotiated in new ways. Other selective cases, in addition to July 22, have been the Occupy movements in London and Hong Kong, Inter-rituality in Turkey, Radical Environmentalists’ protest rituals in USA, collective New Age dancing of self-discovery, and ritual performance at Indigenous Festivals like Riddu Riddu and Origins. We have explored how new rituals create arenas for cross-cultural encounters, democracy and social change. The outcome of the project can be read in our publications.