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Utopian Life

Live utopias? For the discursive and performative negotiation of alternative life and future designs at festivals



How do we want to live together in the future? How do we imagine tomorrow's society to be sustainable? Questions like these condense in the context of current crisis diagnoses - including: climate crisis, financial crisis or European crisis - in public discourses and make the future (all) present: in media discourses, political debates, current protest movements (such as "Fridays for Future") and the like. Ä. the future is forecast, planned and researched. Scientifically ignored so far emergent, popular-cultural formats that design alternative futures and - according to the initial thesis of the project - make them tangible in the here and now: Utopia festivals, which are called "Days of Utopia", "Move Utopia" or "Utopival" “Do business, want to design, materialize and try out a good life beyond contemporary society during the festival days. Formulated in theses, the festivals function as non-institutionalized, temporary spaces for negotiation and opportunities - as laboratories - for a good life beyond predetermined (everyday) structures and conventions. Various church organizations, ecovillages or activist groups appear as organizers of these rural, small-scale festivals in Germany. In this way, designs for a good life from a wide variety of social contexts - denominational, anarchist-experimental or activist perspectives - become visible and ethnographically accessible. The project makes the comparative research approach of cultural anthropology productive by comparing from an actor-centered perspective how which ideas of a good life in different social contexts within Germany are negotiated, produced and tested discursively and performatively


Ina Kuhn