Real Utopias

If utopias are images or stories that flesh out ideal futures, what are real utopias (besides being an oxymoron of sorts)? Erik Olin Wright’s answer is that they are “alternatives that can be built in the world as it is that also prefigure the world as it could be”. In his lecture, sponsored by The Institute for the Humanities at Simon Fraser University, Wright pours content into the definition with concrete examples – real utopias that “embody, in varying degrees, the values of equality, democracy, community and sustainability to a greater extent than does capitalism”. In a sense, the cases collected in Chris Turner’s The Geography of Hope can also be seen as instances of real utopias, and, for my work, the affinity with design fiction is clear.