Beyond Elections: Redefining Democracy in the Americas

Beyond Elections, an empowering documentary about concrete examples of participatory democracy in action will be shown at the Labia on Orange cinema in Cape Town on Sunday 19 July at 6.15pm, on Monday 20 July at 8:30pm and on Tuesday 21 July at 8:30pm.

After all the hype surrounding this year’s elections it’s back to politics as usual in South Africa. Politicians pontificate and make far reaching decisions while the rest of us are left moaning and complaining over our braai fires and shebeen tables. But is that really all there is to politics and democracy? Beyond Elections takes us on a journey across the Americas in an attempt to answer this important question.

Beyond Elections proves that democracy can and should be more than casting a ballot every four years.” – Ben Dangl

Some 120 countries around the world now have at least the minimum trappings of democracy – the freedom to vote for all citizens. But for many, this is just the beginning not the end. Following decades of US-backed dictatorships, civil wars and devastating structural adjustment policies in the South, and corporate control, electoral corruption and fraud in the North, representative politics is in crisis. Citizens are now choosing to redefine democracy on their own terms: local, direct, and participatory.


Beyond Elections explores new and exciting experiences with local governance, participatory budgeting and decision making, self-organised community assemblies, cooperative workplaces and other methods in which authority and power are being shifted from ruling elites to ordinary citizens.

The film features engaging interviews with Eduardo Galeano, Amy Goodman and Ward Churchill, as well as community members, elected representatives, academics, and activists from Brazil, Canada, Venezuela, Argentina, the United States and more.

Beyond Elections offers hope and inspiration to everyone who is frustrated with “politics as usual”.

The screenings will be followed by a facilitated audience discussion. Tickets cost R20 and can be reserved by calling The Labia at (021) 424 5927. Reserving tickets is strongly recommended to avoid disappointment.

This event is presented by The Labia and While You Were Sleeping, a Cape Town-based non-profit film collective committed to bringing progressive, non-mainstream documentaries with important social and environmental messages to South African audiences.


The Labia:
021 424 5927

While You Were Sleeping:
Andreas Späth
084 772 1056

More info:

Beyond Elections website


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