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At the end of our month, we began to work on setting up our finissage. We decided to present resources that would serve for reflection on the ambiguity of some of the themes that had been part of our conversations with participants, our research, and were serving as tools for the continuation of our project.

The whole month had been a reflection on the topic, alone and with visitors, and it was only fitting that the final day would have stations for reflections about the ambiguity of the main themes. Whenever we looked deeper into the major themes discussed the differences between today’s reality and today’s utopias were never clear cut, and sometimes it wasn’t clear what was positive or negative dream/reality.

We began by organizing the wall in the gallery in which we had been posting our ideas about the various themes that appeared in participant’s utopias, mapping the relationships between the concepts and selecting which themes we wanted to present during the finissage. As all the themes were interconnected, we decided that we would create stations in the gallery, each one a thinking point for a set of interconnected themes. We would present just a few resources that reflected the interconnected themes and displayed their ambiguity.

We hung up translation of all of the utopias gathered, displayed photographs from the month and the children’s utopias, as well as had a place for visitors to continue to write their utopias on postcards and view various research texts.

The Stations!

  • Universal Communication, Freedom of Movement (No Borders), Multiculturalism, Equality of Opportunity/More Economic Equality, Liberal, Equality of People, Less Norms, Religion as an Individual Choice (Not a Religious State)

From left to right:

  1. This purse was offered to me by a Nepalese friend during the time we shared an apartment. When she arrived in Portugal, she had great difficulty finding a job and was very close to becoming a victim of human trafficking. Despite having a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in nursing, she could not practice in Lisbon as her degree is not recognized here, so she washed dishes at a restaurant. Her boyfriend, a Bangladeshi Muslim, was living Oslo. She was forced to move to Lisbon without him because she was unable to pass the Norwegian test that would have allowed her to stay in Oslo. As she is Hare Krishna, neither of their families accept their relationship. At the time, they had been in a long-distance relationship for over two years.
  2. The languages books are translated into show how hard it is to share your ideas and access other people’s if you do not speak one of the main universal languages. In addition, concepts, meanings, and feelings can be easily lost due to the inability to bridge gaps between languages and poor translations.
  3. Video: Please go to:
  4. Artistic Director of Batsheva Dance Company and Batsheva Ensemble describes the unique movement vocabulary he developed which is now the daily training for the dancers at Batsheva.
  5. Street sign in Israel asking woman to avoid walking/being on this sidewalk.
  • Mutual Responsibility, Sharing Community, Mutliculturalism, Nature, Environment, Seasons, Health

From Left to Right:

  1. Video of unprotected river.
  2. Due to the inability of humans to respect nature, other cultures, and fellow human beings the legislature in New Zealand granted the Whanganui River the same rights as human beings in 2017.
  • Equality of Opportunity/More Economic Equality, Mutual Responsibility, Multiculturalism, Music/Art/Culture, Accessible Art, Free Education, Sharing Community, Public Spaces

From left to right:

  1. This still from Rui Mourão’s performance, Act I: OUR DREAMS DON’T FIT IN THEIR BALLOT BOXES, shows participants hanging up signs criticizing the high prices of public museums in Portugal.
  2. Palais de Tokyo (Paris): Homeless with all his possessions sleeping by Abraham Poincheval’s work. (Poincheval stood on the platform in the picture for a week with all of his possessions).
  3. DOMA’s work displays the “true” cultural center of São Paulo (the lively Lunchonette filled with people) vs. São Paulo’s contemporary art museum, the MASP, empty of visitors.
  4. Expensive NYC MOMA ticket
  6. Video: Opera classes and free concerts in the park
  7. Less Work Hours (Machines do all the Menial Work), Non 9-5 Work Structure, Healthy Society, Less Stress, Time is Slower, No Violence
  8. Jose Antonio Abreu, Founder of El Sistema, Venezuela’s Youth Orchestra. Excerpts from his TED Prize acceptance speech (2009).
  • Less Work Hours (Machines do all the Menial Work), Non 9-5 Work Structure, Healthy Society, Less Stress, Time is Slower, No Violence

Video clip: Employees cleaning the metro with basic resources (projected on the wall) vs. more time for leisure (projected on the postcards describing utopian places).

Pictures of the different resources:

The finissage was really exciting and emotional for us! Here are some more pictures from the evening!

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