Be Democracy - Nobel Peace Center

Nobel Peace Center


  1. Photo: Johannes Granseth
  2. Photo: Johannes Granseth / Nobel Peace Center
  3. Photo: Johannes Granseth / Nobel Peace Center
  4. Photo: Johannes Granseth / Nobel Peace Center
  5. Photo: Johannes Granseth / Nobel Peace Center
  6. Photo: Facebook
  7. Photo: Facsimile from Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg's Instagram account.
  8. Photo: David Sillitoe / Camera Press / NTB Scanpix
  9. Photo: from Twitter / @CondeNosferatu

Be Democracy

15 May 2014–23 Nov 2014

What do the PM’s selfie, digital surveillance, checking Facebook before you get out of bed, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo and the Arab Spring all have in common? You will find the answer at the Nobel Peace Center’s latest exhibition, Be Democracy.

The exhibition explores how social media are changing society and challenging power. The visitors are invited to make their own mark on the exhibition by using social media. Join the debate and put your stamp on the Be Democracy exhibition through the exhibitions own page:

The exhibition Be Democracy also has its own Twitter account @BeDemocracy. Every week from 26 May, this account will have a new curator. Find more information on the guest editors here and follow @BeDemocracy on Twitter.

The British blogger Eliot Higgins attended the official opening. This is the man who revealed the use of cluster bombs and chemical weapons in Syria. Online he is known under the pseudonym Brown Moses. By close examination of social media like YouTube, Facebook, Bambuser and Twitter, he helped to expose the perpetration of war crimes in Syria.

What do you use your voice for?

No one uses social media as much as Norwegians. Eight out of ten people under the age of 29 check Facebook every day; four out of ten people over the age of 60 have a Facebook account; and one in five Norwegians is on Twitter. We are addicted to social media, to chatting and sharing news and views with family and friends.

Many people in Norway shy away from online debates for fear of personal attack. The young Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai took on the Taliban in her blog campaign for the right of girls to go to school. It nearly cost her her life.

One in three Norwegians takes part in various online political debates. Both here at home and elsewhere social media act as channels for mobilising support for political issues. This represents a challenge to established authorities all over the world. Turkey’s prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan shut down both Twitter and YouTube in the run-up to the recent local elections on the grounds that the microblogging site was a ‘threat to Turkey’s national security’. During the anti-government protests in Kiev, Ukraine, social media were used actively to mobilise the demonstrators. And last year the American whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed the biggest surveillance scandal of our times, by revealing that ordinary citizens’ telephone and internet traffic are being collected and analysed wholesale by US security agencies.

The Be Democracy exhibition is the Nobel Peace Center’s main contribution to the Norwegian constitution’s bicentenary celebrations. It explores how social media are changing society and challenging the powers that be.

The official opening ceremony is sponsored by Telenor Group with contributions from Telenor Culture Program.

Be Democracy has been produced by the Nobel Peace Center in collaboration with Expology and the Institute for Social Research. The exhibition is supported by Institusjonen Fritt Ord and the Norwegian Ministry of Culture.