Back in Lancaster, few months ago, people were asked to bring an object that represents utopia in their everyday life. Artist Oliver East collected individual utopias and transformed them into a “Utopia Manifesto”: a graphic novel without words co-created with the help of people that participated in the experience.
Two weeks ago, we took 200 copies of the graphic novel to the Utopia Fair at Somerset House (London), and asked visitors to barter a piece of their own everyday utopia in exchange for a copy of the book.
Some people left us some small objects, other simply drew or wrote their thoughts on the labels. By the end of the weekend, our stall was a mosaic of people’s stories, values, dreams, fears, and aspirations for the future.
Mobile Utopia is an AHRC funded project of the Institute for Social Futures at Lancaster University. The project is developed through collaboration with different communities in Lancaster and Birmingham. It will take part in celebrations around the 500th Anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s Utopia. The interdisciplinary group of researchers led by Nick Dunn, Professor of Urban Design, includes Monika Büscher, Lynne Pearce, Nicola Spurling, and Carlos López Galviz.