Following a lecture on ‘Re-Imagining the Future’, I left with visions of a green utopia rife with social equality, justice and kindness. However, I couldn’t help that this mode of thinking was like attempting to revive my belief in the tooth fairy.
In this time of global pandemic, anxiety and uncertainty, it’s all too easy to revert to my British cynicism and curl up in a ball to wallow in my own self-pity. Yet, surely in these times more than ever it is essential that we live counter-culturally – in a hopeful vision. It is so obvious change is needed but how do we mobilise ourselves to be the instruments of change?
Well. The first step is deciding what changes you actually want to see taking place. Being in quarantine can be a time for much needed reflection. I appreciate many will not have this privilege(having been deeply affected by the spread), however, those who do I challenge you to do this activity as it will surely give you an energised and proactive outlook on your local and national community. (Instructions at the end of the article.
LIVERPOOL IN 2050
Here is the exercise I was given for this seminar, why not give it a go yourself? I’d love to see the results if you do so be sure to contact me!
“The year is 2050, using your imagination, visualise a desirable version of the future focusing on one of the following:
- a university
- a town or city
- a home
Create a visual mind map using any type of imagery you feel expresses your vision e.g. found objects, drawings/sketches, photographs, graphics, icons etc. (see examples below). You can use one of the above types of images or a combination. You can create this through collage, using digital methods, on a wall, window, floor etc. You may wish to use the lecture slides and notes as reference as to how to build on existing scenarios. Be creative and use your imagination!”
The three book extracts referenced are:
Extract 1. Porritt, J. (2013) The World We Made: Alex McKay’s Story from 2050. London: Phaidon Pp. 82
This extract from Porritt’s book set in the year 2050 is about a future college system that is more flexible, and student led.
Extract 2. Hopkins, R. (2019) From What is to What if. London: Chelsea Green pp. 2-3
This extract is from the introductory chapter and is a story based on Hopkin’s vision of a desirable future. The extract focuses on his commute to work and hints at how food is produced and sold and how more emphasis is placed on health and well-being and work/life balance.
Extract 3. Gardner, G. (2016) Imagining a Sustainable City. In The World Watch Institute. Can a City be Sustainable? Washington: Island Press pp. 3-5
The first four pages of this chapter are a vision of what life in a sustainable city could be like. It describes commuting, energy use within the city, how the city is adapting to climate change and how the city has reconnected with nature.
Film. Age of Stupid (2008) Directed by Franny Armstrong Link This is a film set in the year 2055 but unlike Jonathan Porritt’s vision this one is not quite as compatible with human existence. In contrast this is an undesirable vision of the future for reference.
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I hope you enjoyed engaging with my creative shenanigans of dissent! If you so happened to find this topic interesting or have any questions/suggestions, I love a good chin-wag so please do get in touch. Thank you for reading!