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Past exhibition: A space with changing exhibitions about CONTEMPORARY DESIGN


Welcome to an exhibition about design now! AKUT shows what is stirring on the design scene right now, and offers new perspectives on design, arts and crafts. AKUT will show design with courage, resources, power, empathy and community spirit to challenge our habits and create ambitious changes.

AKUT will present a series of special exhibitions, showing cutting edge designs and designers who are working on solving some of the global changes that affect us all.

Can design influence the political debate? The new exhibition ‘Guest workers’ draws attention to the humanitarian conflict unfolding around the football tournament FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

From 20 November 2022, the world football championship take place in the desert state of Qatar. Millions of people are expected to follow the tournament which, for many, is a symbol of how sports can unite people across borders, age, religion, and gender. But the FIFA World Cup has a dark side.

Design with hidden stories

The exhibition Guest Workers shows four different projects based on the current situation in Qatar. Textile designer Sia Hurtigkarl Degel (DK) exhibits four hand-woven rugs from the collection World Cup Rugs 2.0 – all produced in Nepal, where many of the guest workers on the construction sites are from. The large textile industry in Nepal has long since been surpassed by the export of cheap labor, and this depressing fact is now woven into the beautiful rugs. In the photo series Nation Building, photographer Jonathan Lieb (UK) portrays a number of guest workers in workwear, sunglasses, scarfs, and face masks. The workers are not portrayed as victims, but celebrated for their work, courage, and the sacrifices they have made to improve life for themselves and their families.

In addition, the exhibition shows Cards of Qatar by Blankspot, a project that, in the format of football cards, tells the stories of the guest workers who have died in Qatar through the voice of the families from their home countries. The exhibition also presents an extract of the documentary The Workers Cup, which shows the everyday life of the workers in Qatar during the build-up of the World Cup. The full documentary can be seen at the museum on the 1st of December and 2nd of February 2023.

Can design change the world?

The exhibition Guest Workers opens at Designmuseum Danmark only a few days before the world championship in Qatar kicks off. The exhibition will stand as a critical comment and reminder of the highly reprehensible circumstances, that the tournament is built on.

The interaction of the pieces in the exhibition shows how design and art can communicate a strong appeal and contribute to the political debate. Guest workers urges us not to be passive spectators, but demand better from the national football organizations, the media, and the sponsors.

Sponsors and collaborators
Thanks to The Danish Arts Foundation