DEMOS Project Germany


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The Bürgerrecht.Akademie Leipzig

The Bürgerrecht.Akademie Leipzig will have three components / pillars:

  1. Learning
  2. Meeting
  3. Doing

The Learning Pillar

The “Learning” pillar has an academic, educational character and focuses on the target group of the bourgeoisie, so people who are active in this milieu and are the traditional clientèle of adult education centres (Volkshochschule) in Germany. The construction of this pillar began in 2018.

The central question is: How can knowledge of fundamental rights (Articles 1-19, Basic Law in Germany) be applied in an application-oriented manner with the goal of an active civil society. In doing so, we assume that not all people in East Germany are familiar with the Basic Law because of the historical situation. In order to realize this goal new program offers and didactic formats are to be developed. The traditional framework conditions (contents, spaces, didactics) need to be expanded and participatory and self-organized learning strengthened.

Specifically, this means working on an article of the Basic Law (GG article) for two evenings as follows:

Evening 1

An introduction to the topic by two people with different views / attitudes to the GG article. Subsequently, a joint discussion takes place in plenary. The warm-up is innovative – before the start of the event, the participants meet to get to know each other and exchange their own thoughts on the topic.

Evening 2

Experience in a place that enables the article of the GG to be experienced. Learning with all senses. Examples: women cultur Leipzig, shared accommodation for refugees, European Centre for Press and Media Freedom, etc.

After the presentation of the respective project a deepening through group work with new methods takes place, eg. dilemma discussion. So that what is learnt on the 1st evening is deepened and internalized.

The Meeting Pillar

The build-up of this pillar should start just after the work on the “Learning” Pillar in March 2019.

In this sense, the second pillar of the Civil Rights Academy will enter action mode that will leave behind classic educational formats and reshape synonyms such as low-threshold, effectiveness, proximity to citizens. The adult education centre selects a large topic that is current. For 2019 this was planned in various Bürgerrecht.Bahnen (specially rented trams) for citizens and politicians to partake in conversation on equal terms. This project could not be carried out because the project funds were approved only on 17 June by the state government.

Since the financial pledges were made so late, a podium event will take place for the state parliament election, which, however, deviates from the classical pattern.

For the same reason, the theme was modified for the year 2019. The Bürgerrecht.Akademie has become a partner in the Leipzig REVOLUTIONALE – 30 Years of Peaceful Revolution.

DEMOS Project Germany - outline map showing location of VHS Leipzig

Map sourced from

Buergerrecht.Akademie Leipzig