How postmodernism and its cities prevent us from Utopian Dreaming
Science Fiction is the art of thinking about new ways to be.
As Henri Lefebvre says: "'Change life! 'Change society!' These precepts mean nothing without the production of an appropriate space[...] new social relationships call for a new space, and vice versa".
"The first utopias, whether Plato's Atlantis or More's eponymous Utopia, were conceived as cities and insulated ones at that. This isn't a mistake or coincidence as the history of society and that of the city are closely interlinked, whether in Europe or outside of it. So too, science fiction's cities. Their ideas and ideals spring from and grow with changes in society: feminist, post-colonial and neo-liberal ideas seep into these conceptions and representations, changing them as the face of society and its cultural discourse changes.
...my aim can be seen as political: as we have learned to do with other parts of our lives, we must not look at urban planning as a “naïve” attempt at pragmatism or efficiency but rather as a “deeper”, often subjugating, attempt at control of discourse and our ways of life. Science fiction, like in many other fields, can either assist us in our critique and struggle or further solidify and serve the current, entrenched order of life. It can conceive of cities as spaces containing news ways to be or as maps for the ways power wishes it to be."
Eden Kupermintz EMBASSY//TOWN #rpTEN
"what matrix tells you is be docile except the one of you who is the genius that's a mainstay of the non-radical science fiction group sure rebellion is possible but it's only the exceptional human who can perform it."
There were many great talks @re:publica this year but this one is great, about Utopia and mentions Ursula LeGuin! Plus I had never heard of Henry Lefebvre before. Started to search for good online links about him with not too much luck yet. But I found the book/quote below after reading: Why do we need utopias? where Malene Freudendal-Pedersen mentions it. If you happen to know about good reading materials or talks about him please let me know.
Political Space in the Work of Henri Lefebvre: Ideology and Utopia
Grégory BUSQUET, UMR LAVUE (Mosaïques), Université Paris Ouest Nanterre
Another book still on my reading list, which I post here, because it seems to be another twist on the "mainstay of the non-radical science fiction group sure rebellion is possible but it's only the exceptional human who can perform it."
Great podcast episode about The Sleeper Awakes The SFFaudio Podcast #266
"Struck by a strange ailment, a Victorian gentleman called Graham falls into a sudden coma. When he wakes up 203 years later, he discovers the trust set up by executors of his estate has grown so much that he is now the owner of almost everything on the planet. Under his name his trustees rule the planet, bringing in an age of total peace and startlingly advanced technology, but at a steep price — democracy is dead, the rich are brainless and hedonistic while the poor are all but slaves overseen by brutal military police.Broken free from the trustees prison by a politician called Ostrog, Graham finds himself stuck in the middle of an uprising as Ostrog promises to restore Graham's power and bring an end to the council's reign."