Utopias, Horizons, and Desires

The final theme is somewhat of a special this year; utopias, horizons and desires. The slogan of Otherwise has long been that of 'imagining otherwise', but is really put in the limelight this year. Through utopias, horizons and desires we hope to engage with the question of the political imagination, fostering fantasies of change rather than sticking to the current path. Utopias, fantasies, horizons, dreams, all of these words breathe impossibility, they are profoundly unrealistic, and that is exactly the question we want to tackle through their usage; what is realistic?

We think there are alternatives aplenty of other ways of living together. And they are to be found in the future as much as the past, and much of it resides in forms of knowledge we used to dismiss as improper; those of feminists and decolonial theorists, backwards farmers, priests and wicked artists.

This year we want to render the unimaginable almost tangible, and toss the deeply unrealistic realism of business-as-usual in the bin. We need visions and desires for a change, if a change seems properly realistic we are probably not changing enough. We believe worlds and people are flexible, malleable and diverse, and what we need to do is liberate all that potential now locked away in mining colonies, UN offices, prisons, sweatshops, psychiatric institutes and, of course, universities, and turn our frustration , self-flagellation and hedonist nihilism into drastic, desirable, political change.


Dream on, comrades.