What is the future of our planet?
This question assumes that the future is common to all societies on Earth and that it is already with us, hidden in our disagreements, conflicts and, very likely, in the oversights of the present. In the context of climate change and environmental degradation on Earth, as well as of global social, economic and political threats, the question calls for a strong ‒ and practical ‒ response in the form of a transformation of cultural practices and institutions. Of course, it also calls for a mindset different from the one prevalent today, for an imagination that will surpass the idioms used today, and for ways of seeing the world through the prism of new concepts. The idea to open the Dictionary of the Future will help achieve this.
The starting point for discussions at the Forum for the Future of Culture in 2017 was the diagnosis of the condition of Polish culture arrived at during the 2016 Culture Congress, and then in the debates held before the Forum. As a result, we were able to offer recommendations on cultural education and the work of institutions acting for the public good. During the discussions, a number of activist movements involved in various areas of Polish social life, such as ecology and environmental protection, support for refugees and migrants, the development of the LGBTQ community and the expansion of women’s rights, presented their goals and potential opportunities for collaboration in the field of culture. At the same time, the now common recognition of the widespread crisis of anticipatory imagination was confirmed. This is the right time to begin writing the Dictionary of the Future, to search for a new language and new project for action in the field of culture understood holistically as the environment we live in.
‘Feminism! Not fascism’. This slogan of the 2018 Forum for the Future of Culture juxtaposes feminist caring, sharing the world with other living things, learning and imagination with fascist power, love of conquest, preaching and commanding. Above all, however, we juxtapose faith in the FUTURE with the fear of it and escape from it into the dream of a mighty and uniform past.
Descriptions of a feminised utopia or a new world, written and sent to us in response to our call, will be posted on the Forum’s website. Themes include: algorithms, caring, learning, complementarity, organization of the future, imagination, as well as lessons in counter-culture. We hope that their number will be increasing (send in your contribution, too!) and that they will be inspiration for and the seed of new ideas and practices. The concepts and perspective proposed in them will find their place in practically all areas of the Forum’s programme such as debates, presentations, performances and performative actions, because they address feminism, ecology (inhabitation), imagination and the creation of (feminised) cultural institutions friendly to the public.
You can also join us for three workshops directly related to the keywords of the future: algorithm, caring and learning.