Democracia: We Protect You From Yourselves presented by Biennale Warszawa


We Protect You From Yourselves

October 23–November 29, 2020

a/political and Biennale Warszawa present collective Democracia with a special intervention from collective Syrena

Back in July, Democracia hijacked Polish electoral messages at Warsaw’s Swietokrzyska underground station, with a multiplied image of a riot policeman (Silence, 2018–2020). This disruption was a stark reminder of assaults on civil rights, now directed at LGBT+ communities, but reflective of wider exploitation of police entitlement. The radicalisation of the police at the street level is reflective of that in digital reality, whereby spyware is deployed across the globe against political opponents, activists and dissidents (as disclosed by The Citizen Lab). We Protect You From Yourselves is an exhibition spanning over two floors of Biennale Warszawa re-engaging with the issues of police brutality and surveillance, addressed earlier this year by Democracia through interventions in London and Warsaw.

a/political explores radical knowledge through the principle of cultural terror, platforming voices that undermine the dominant narratives of our time. The collective collaborates with artists and agitators to produce projects previously thought unrealisable due to their subject matter, scale and complexity. www.a-political.org

Biennale Warszawa is an interdisciplinary cultural institution conducting artistic, research, educational and social activities. It operates at the intersection of various disciplines, combining the area of culture and art with the area of theory and research, as well as social activism.

Democracia is an art collective addressing government-sanctioned violence and the injustices of capitalism. They themselves were threatened with a prison sentence for their series “WE PROTECT YOU FROM YOURSELVES,” 2013. Through their interventions, Democracia points at violation of civil and human rights under the guise of seemingly democratic governance and explores the politics of policing. www.democracia.com.es

Syrena is an autonomous space for initiatives based in a reclaimed tenement house at 30 Wilcza Street in Warsaw. The space functions as a place for non-commercial activities and support for local initiatives and residents. The Syrena collective uses its space as a source of direct interventions and confrontation with the politics of the city and private investors who, according to their priority of profit, jointly deny the rights of city residents. We reclaim the city on various levels: from direct action, such as blockades of frequent and unlawful evictions, to supporting delegalized immigrants, workers employed under the so-called junk contracts, and residents protecting public spaces, as well as any person discriminated against by the justice system and the authorities.

Organizers: a/political, Biennale Warszawa, Cooperation: Syrena, Curator: Sylwia Serafinowicz, Graphic design: Jakub de Barbaro, Translation, proofreading: Klementyna Dec, Justyna Chmielewska, Production coordinators: Marta Michalak, Ela Petruk, George Chetwode, Communication and PR: Agnieszka Tiutiunik, Promotions: Klara Duniec, Production: Z.U.CH, Media Partners: NN6T, TOK FM, Le Monde Diplomatique

ORDER and Jeremiah series are a joint commission between a/political & Station Museum of Contemporary Art.

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