Mirjam Steffen: How to Use Imagined Alternatives to Organize Living Together?


Thesis Advisors: Julia Morandeira Arrizabalaga and Florian Göttke

December 2022


This paper is a research on social and utopian imagination and practice. My interest in utopia stems from its links to social imagination, practices of future, worlding and the-not-yet, as well as to radical imagination and questions of collectivity and togetherness. What can these lines of thinking offer towards living together otherwise. My intent here is neither to propose, nor to locate a blueprint of or for utopia. I believe that utopian models designed by humans are too easily prone to becoming dystopias. I am more interested in utopia as a form of criticism, as a method of thinking and opening one’s imagination. As a method and a form, utopia offers a means by which to generate counter-images of the present and to promote critical thinking and developing social alternatives in plural, rather than giving a singular solution or fixed concrete plans. I don’t think utopia can ever be deterministic, but rather that it has to constantly explore, change and enhance on its own vision.