Imagined futures require remembered pasts. Michael Foucault once wrote in Of Other Spaces, “One could say, by way of retracing this history of space very roughly, that in the Middle Ages there was a hierarchic ensemble of places: sacred places and profane places; protected places and open, exposed places; urban places and rural places (all these concern the real life of men). In cosmological theory, there were the supercelestial places, as opposed to the celestial, and the celestial place was in its turn opposed to the terrestrial place. There were places where things had been put because they had been violently displaced, and then on the contrary places where things found their natural ground and stability.” But what lies between these dichotomous spaces? And what meaning is produced by the tension that exists there?
Just as recounting the past both historically and relationally in regards to place has importance, so too must the imagined and the future and the possibility of space and place. Imagined space allows for the consideration of what is possible of a world absent of injustice, otherness, and subjugation. In Envisioning Real Utopias, Erik Olin Wright asserts, “The idea of “real utopias” embraces the tension between dreams and practice.” It is this tension that we seek to explore: Utopia not as an idealized future but the means through which we embrace the tension between our dreams and the practice that moves us closer to their realization. This critical act of remembering rejects nostalgia for a time that likely never was, while at the same time moving beyond the stagnancy of imagining futures “whose arrival is continually belated” (Muñoz, 2009). Our memories are political, as are our visions for the future. How we embrace the tension is political, and it matters how we work and struggle to bring imagined futures into reality.
AAG and the field of geography have yet to take a critical approach to the futurity of space and place. This session is looking to begin conversations in the field of geography about future space, imagined place, and futurity within the discipline of geography.
|Panelist||Brett Goldberg The Bridges We Burn||15|
|Panelist||Danielle Lucero Arizona State University||15|
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