Date: 7 December 2016
Location: British Library, London
The only thing real is waking and rubbing your eyes. The Fall, 1980
As we reach the end of the 500th anniversary year of the publication of Thomas More’s Utopia, we want to reflect on the relation between utopia and community as articulated, explored and problematised across the various utopian or utopia-centred activities of the Connected Communities programme over the past 12-18 months. These activities include:
- Utopias, Futures and Temporalities: Critical Considerations for Social Change symposium, Bristol, May 2015
- Jazz Utopia international conference, Birmingham, April 2016
- Connected Communities Festival 2016: Community Futures and Utopia nationwide festival of events, February-June (and beyond) 2016
- Creating Real Utopias in the 21st Century, part of Bristol Festival of Ideas, May 2016
- Utopia Fair, Somerset House, London, June 2016.
These were some of the prompts for our 2016 programme events:
- what ‘utopia in the 21st century’ means for diverse communities;
- community fears and aspirations for the future;
- in its urgency and presence jazz is now here. As improvisational and transitory, jazz is nowhere. Utopia is nowhere and now here;
- dystopian as well as utopian visions for community futures;
- utopia as participatory/ creative method.
What we want to do at the final conference is learn from you and your Connected Communities projects and activities about how you responded to such prompts. What do we know about utopia and community that we didn’t before? Can we share reflections on Utopia 500 that might be useful in Utopia 501? Is the Connected Communities programme itself utopian? This may be a day of celebration (perhaps it’s mourning), of practicalities or idealistic refusal, of glimpses and fragments of culture. Join us and make it good. Make it a good place.
Say no to utopia fatigue. Keep on dreaming.
There are a large number of blog entries at www.utopia500.org.uk/blog/ from projects participating in the 2016 Connected Communities Festival.
How to participate
We invite presentations, panels, provocations, short screenings or performances, dialogues, rants, theories, interdisciplinary or indisciplinary contributions, about the utopia you constructed and/or critiqued in Connected Communities.
Please send a short description (200 word abstract) with title to firstname.lastname@example.org by 28th of October. Also include information about your Connected Communities utopia project, and about members wishing to attend and contribute (academics and partners).
Travel and accommodation costs, where required, will be organised and met by the Connected Communities programme. Bursaries for contributing community partners will be available. We plan also to meet for a meal, informal discussion, networking the evening before the conference, and hope you can join us for that.
For enquiries, and abstracts to: Rachel Daniel, Connected Communities administrator, University of East Anglia, email@example.com