Utopie. Konferenz für praktische Kritik



Forum Stadtpark

Production specifics
Conference team: Markus Gönitzer, Leo Kühberger
Series team: Markus Gönitzer, Leo Kühberger, Lidija Krienzer-Radojević (IG Kultur Steiermark)

A collaboration of Forum Stadtpark and steirischer herbst '20

(Utopia. A Conference for Practical Criticism)

Utopian thinking, understood as envisioning another, better world, is as old as humanity itself. In the 19th and 20th centuries, various attempts were made to turn these imagined utopias into reality. These experiences—some of them catastrophic—had the ultimate effect of discrediting utopian thinking itself, but they also prompted people to conceive of utopias in new and different ways. Feminist and postcolonial theories supplied vital impulses for this new wave of utopian thought. Nevertheless, dystopian ideas still prevail today in art, science, and popular culture. For many people, the “end of the world” seems more conceivable than a better world, not least in view of the challenges posed by climate change, the coronavirus pandemic, and the looming global economic crisis.

And yet, social crises always have a way of ushering in a resurgence in utopian thought. At the conference Utopie: Konferenz für praktische Kritik we want to put utopian thinking in the spotlight again. In workshops, lectures, and online, we will discuss with speakers and guests possible alternatives to the current relationship between humans and animals, and talk about anti-racist, feminist, economic, and democratic utopias.