The future imagined: exploring utopia and dystopia in popular art as a means of understanding today's challenges and tomorrow's options
5th International Conference on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis (FTA): Engage today to shape tomorrow
The European Union is exploring the future through the lens of Grand Societal Challenges (GSCs). As part of the EU funded project ‘Forward Looking Analysis of Grand Societal Challenges and Innovative Policies’ (FLAGSHIP) we take an innovative approach to the analysis and critique of the way Europe’s GSCs have been framed, by inquiring into how the detailed qualitative content analysis of popular art can enrich the interpretation and the underlying problem definition of GSCs, and hence the search for solutions for a ‘better future’. Popular art provides materials for thinking about the paradoxes of progress, the transformations in the main future societal challenges and the transformations of the future that will be brought about by science and technology. Filmic and literary representations are means of transmitting cultural codes and values, thus they reflect cultures and ideologies of specific historical moments and societies. They provide alternative perspectives of the central challenges of future societies. Therefore aim is to ask: 1) What concerns and challenges are envisaged in popular art texts that engage with the notion of future? 2) How are these concerns and challenges framed and how do they enrich our understanding of the GSCs identified for today’s societies? 3) What are the predominant differences and what do they reveal of today’s framing of GSCs?
Future; Fiction; Popular art; Representations