THE POWER OF DOUBT, the power of conflict, Silvia Dini Modigliani

It’s well known that consensus is the basis of contemporary democracies—in the same way as the dissent that coexists and daily confronts with it.
On one hand, the demonstration is a fundamental medium for citizens. It allows them to be part of the collective and to reaffirm their role in the socio-political debate of their society any time, reaffirming in this way the necessary existence of a counterpart that questions the direction that a democratically elected minority takes.
On the other hand, nowadays in Italy the demonstration’s strong role in the social conflict of opinions has been somewhat lost, swallowed into a system of distracting dynamics that empties it of content yet maintaining its formal greatness—this is clear in the image of it on the news.
On the streets, the individual-collective finds itself to deal with practical dynamics—number of people, slogans, route, identity, non-party-ness, information, control, violence, legality, originality—rather than the real conflict of opinions. But still, individuals are critical, rational. They are, most of all, Doubters.
I’ve always been trying to grab the real essence of a demonstration. And I finally found it in the doubts, in the different perceptions that the individuals within the crowd have of it. But the individual doubt stays individual or between few individuals, therefore not accessible to the whole crowd.
How to make the total of the doubts of the individuals of a crowd accessible to the total of the individuals of a crowd?
I decided to create a space where the individual opinion could be preserved, analyzed, compared and used in order to make clear what a demonstration is today, in view of an evolution of this medium. This kind of space is commonly called archive.
The open archive of opinions is an online audio archive of opinions on the concept of demonstration as mass medium. The content is based on interviews made on 2013 and it’s structured as a theatre play, inspired by the way demonstrations are narrated in mass media. It is open because anybody can contribute to it adding his opinion through a recording button which doesn’t filter the information.
This archive wants to be the space for a healthy conflict of opinions. You can find it here:
With no Devil’s advocates, no conflict of opinions and no real consensus, the crowd cannot express the conflict toward the outside at its best. Then, the difference in opinions rises to the surface, becoming dangerous—see the close-up on violence, the diatribe on the number of participants or the attention on symbols and colors in the newspapers.Health above all, my grandma used to say. Once healthy (or rather aware) everything turns out for the best.
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Contact Silvia at:


About dae-master

We are 2nd year students following masters program in Social, Contextual, and Information Design at the Design Academy Eindhoven. Here we present our current thesis research, work in progress, hopes and expectations for our projects.

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