This Is What Democracy Looks Like! (Scotland)

An event by Ellie Harrison
Produced by Beckie Darlington

This Is What Democracy Looks Like!

We live in a liberal democracy, yet how much power do we really have to decide the direction of our country?

In the thick of the 2016 Scottish Parliamentary election campaign, This Is What Democracy Looks Like! at Glasgow International festival will offer local residents the opportunity to meet and greet their wannabe politicos at a roving roundtable discussion upon a bicycle built for seven.

Each Thursday, Friday and Saturday during the festival the 'conference bike' (provided in-kind by Free Wheel North) will traverse Glasgow city centre and surrounding neighbourhoods, with a schedule of local parliamentary candidates on board (each for an hour-long slot). Every hour, five new audience members will be invited to hop on, collectively decide on their direction and then travel together whilst discussing the issues that matter to them most with the people striving to seize power on 5th May.

Playing with the aesthetic of a misjudged publicity stunt (see Labour's 2015 'pink bus'), This Is What Democracy Looks Like! is part-spectacle, part-participatory event. A talking point for passersby, whilst also providing a fun and informal opportunity for local people to meet their potential representatives: like a 'roving surgery'.

Posted by Ellie Harrison on Friday, 17 July 2015


This Is What Democracy Looks Like! (London) was developed at and supported by The Yard Theatre and first took place on 16, 17 & 18 July 2015 as part of the Walkie Talkies festival curated by Beckie Darlington for the Local Programme in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

As part of the 2016 Glasgow International festival programme, This Is What Democracy Looks Like! (Scotland) will become a major activity for Think Global, Act Local – a year long performance / research project for which Ellie Harrison will not leave the Strathclyde region in 2016 (details TBC).


Ellie Harrison (b. London 1979) is an artist and activist based in Glasgow. Her playful and provocative work responds to the British culture she grew up in, attempting to investigate, expose and challenge its sometimes illogical and absurd political and economic systems. As well as making politically-engaged works for gallery contexts and the public realm, Harrison is also the coordinator of the national Bring Back British Rail campaign – which strives to popularise the idea of re-nationalising of our public transport system – and the agent for The Artists' Bond – a long-term speculative funding scheme for artists.