Why (not) participate?

The game is an output of combined doctoral research conducted by Cassandra Kist, Franziska Mucha, Inge Zwart and Susanne Boersma as part of the POEM research project. It translates participant-centered qualitative research across European museums into practice-oriented action points.
The main purpose of the tool is to help practitioners rethink participatory work through exploring insights into the potential obstacles and motivations for participants. The game can help practitioners improve participatory work; users can learn from their own and each other’s experiences to consider needs and irritations that may arise when participating in a cultural project. The tool draws attention to the complexities of organizing a participatory project and points professionals to the many different aspects they need to take into account. The current prototype of the game contains 30 cards with quotes from participants and prompts for discussing their implications for a museum project. We invite practitioners to print the cards at their own institution and apply them in different contexts with museum staff and wider groups of participants: the cards can be used as a planning tool in an early phase and as a formative evaluation during the run-time of the project or after the project has ended to reflect with all involved parties.

This prototype is licensed CC-BY-SA 4.0 – so please share it widely and let us know how you made use of it or what could be improved in future versions. We also look forward to receiving any further quotes and discussion points relevant for your projects that we can include on new cards for the game. You can contact us via: whynotparticipate[at]gmail.com.

Download prototype here for print (double-sided with long-edge binding):
English version


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Coordination and Project Management

University of Hamburg
c/o: Institute for Anthropological Studies in Culture and History
Grindelallee 46 | postbox: H8 | 20146 Hamburg | Germany

+49 (0)40 42838-9940

POEM Uni Hamburg

Concepts, strategies and media infrastructures for envisioning socially inclusive potential futures of European Societies through culture.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 764859.