upcoming: EUTOPIA | workshop with Philip Rizk

Fragment from the wall of the burial chamber of Sennedjem, by the painter of the burial chamber of Sennedjem, circa 1200 BCE

School of Mutation within the framework of the iteration Film Archives & Militant Cinema. Dates To Be Defined (September/October) Online, Working language English
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In the early 1500s Thomas More wrote a novel entitled with a word he coined, utopia. 500 years later the play on words More had intended has been lost and only one of the two possible meanings of the term remains in common use: ou-topia, the impossible place. In the workshop “Eu-topian images for our times”, we will resurrect the second possibility of the term, eu-topia as a better place, with eyes set on the present – not a faraway future. In the six session workshop we will engage with films and critical readings on themes of counter-histories, agricultural self-sufficiency and organic seed production, the commons, anti-neo-colonialism, anti-imperialism and afro-futurist sounds for the now. The participants will meet online weekly to discuss and be inspired by each others’ interactions with the workshop materials during the course of the week.A central pivot of the workshop is the exploration of the possibilities that images allow for in both form and content. Through images we can theorize and think, indeed images have the potential to open up a critical space of imagining different worlds, to arouse the eu-topic for our times.

I think it is important to mention a few points:

– the curriculum is not Western-centric, which is reflected in the films we will watch   

– while Utopia has become a popular lens through which to view literature in recent years with the rise of utopian studies, very little work has been done on the relationship of moving images to utopia. This is a collective exercise in which we will be drawing on a lot of different texts and films

– we will have various guests to participate in the conversation around agroecology, degrowth, gender and class