Sachsen im Dialog – What the first demoSlam was like

The realization of the first demoSlam of Sachsen im Dialog was a real tour de force. When so many interested, curious spectators came in the evening to listen to the contrasting opinions of our six slammers, all the efforts of the past weeks were forgotten. Even with a few days’ distance, it is still not easy for us to compactly put the countless impressions into words.

What probably impressed the entire team the most was the respect that all participants showed each other. Despite sometimes serious (political) differences, our slammers opened up to each other in order to facilitate a constructive exchange on an honest, sincere, personal level. This was extremely exhausting for our participants, but also enriching and insightful.

We believe that many in the audience were similarly surprised and overwhelmed as we were. Despite more than 170 spectators, you could sometimes hear a pin drop. At the end, the applause for all the slammers seemed unending. On this evening, both the participants and the audience had in any case succeeded in enduring each other’s diversity.

Understanding the other person without agreeing yourself – the demoSlam showed us that this is difficult, grueling and yet possible and necessary. We need to get back into the conversation beyond our echo chambers and filter bubbles; the demoSlam seems to be an excellent format for people in Saxony here.

“It has become a fine art to listen to and understand the other person. Perhaps also to recognize that he is not wrong in some things. Admitting it is more difficult. But that doesn’t have to be the case right away. But one thinks about it and somewhat comes off from their firmly walled opinion. The important thing is to talk again! This evening has impressively shown how it works.”

Visitor during reception and exchange after the event

Photography © Matthias Schumann

We would like to thank…well…everyone who was there, who actively shaped the demoSlam of Saxony in Dialogue, our participants, the Deutschen Hygiene-Museum, Federal program MITEINANDER REDEN, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Förderprogramm Revolution und Demokratie of the Free State of Saxony and, of course, to the audience, who gave us valuable feedback for the future after the event! Finally, special thanks go to our citizen journalists, whose great contributions were presented to the public for the first time in an exhibition during the event.

Until next time – on March 14, 2020 in Nebelschütz. 7 pm the next demoSlam will take place there in the Bjesada/the parish hall.

Sachsen im Dialog tests innovative methods to (re)activate a lively and contentious culture of discussion. Citizens from different communities enter into a dialogue within Saxony about everyday experiences and opinions, on topics that are of importance to society as a whole. Two project modules (workshops, discussion events) help to create encounters and exchanges between village and city dwellers in Saxony.

The Project Sachsen im Dialog is supported by

Robert Bosch Stiftung