Utopian World Championship

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Posted: 2010-10-03 | by: Jon Brunberg

Photo by Staffan Hjalmarsson (cc)

Photo by Staffan Hjalmarsson (cc)

The annual Book Fair in Göteborg is a quite overwhelming affair. Writers, publishers and visitors are filling the enormous halls over four days and the place is awash with books, piled up everywhere, millions of books, presented by the largest publishing houses as well as the small, arty and intellectual ones. But there is more: libraries, book clubs, organisations, vintage book sellers, you name them, they will be there somewhere in the labyrinth of booths.

And I was somewhere in the middle of that labyrinth too, toghether with Annika Drougge, to present the new edition of the winning essays in the competition, which is published and distributed by Raketa Press who shared a booth with several small publishers.

On Saturday September 26 we organized a talk with the first U.W.C. champion T.R.O.Y. (Anthony T Fiscella) in the booth who talked a bit about his views on Utopia today, almost ten years after he wrote the essay that won the U.W.C. in 2001, and his current activities. The new edition of his essay comes, as I see it, at a very interesting period in time, with the global financial crisis still looming over the world. In his essay, the global capitalist system crashes beyond repair and the only organizations prepared to manage society, and the simpler life that ensues, are existing grass-roots movements that form loose coalitions and networks all over the world. The talk revolved a lot around Utopia as a machine for hope and dreams, a realm where to test theoretical as well as practical models of human activitiy.

T.R.O.Y. always has a practical proposal up his sleeve and this evening turned out to be no different. He brought along a bag of used books, and gave them away as a starting point for proposal for a book-bartering fair and also advertised competition in sustainable living with a trip to Tallin as a first price.

In the evening of the same day, we also made a very short followup to the talk at OEI Poetry extension #12 at Box Gallery.

Staffan Hjalmarsson has published a batch of photos of the event on Flickr. A short video from the talk event will also be available soon. Photos above by Jon Brunberg.