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Armchair Critics

Fabrica’s regular forum for informal debate hosted by artist Lorenza Ippolito and followed by a Utopian Walk through the city.

Melanie Manchot’s film work Celebration (Cyprus Street) shows us a modern day street party in East London. As a portrayal of a multi-cultural community at ease with itself and re-enacting an old and important social ritual it depicts a kind of Utopia.

The idea of Utopia – a perfectly constructed place where the social infrastructure enables individuals to be at their best for the good of everybody – has had currency since the Enlightment. Since Thomas More’s first use of the word in 1516 to the present day, our desire to organise ourselves according to a religious, economic, political or ecological ideal is clear, and is generally accepted as a good, even noble endeavour.

But whose idea of a better society is it? Who gets to decide what we should aspire to as individuals and as communities? And what is the ideal community anyway? Isn’t the dream of one social group another’s nightmare?

Join Lorenza Ippolito and her guest Richard Parker to talk about Utopias, Dystopias and the reality of living together.

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