Re-Writing the Script of the Future

1. Conference on Future Heterotopia in Rotterdam

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The future often seems like a construct that is far away from us. Not for nothing governments are setting goals for the future. What floods, storms, gas dependencies and a constant migration flow are already showing us today, tells us that we are already in the facts - no longer in rehearsal, but already in performance. We are no longer dealing with short-term crises, but with an upheaval moment of a long-term change that requires action for the present.


Our cultural model does not know the concept of finitude. We are heading for continuation and growth, and we are not thinking about stopping. How could we? After all, we are used to these living conditions and do not want to give them up. Nevertheless, homo sapiens is the only species that can imagine a fictional reality that manifests itself in states, borders, money and capitalism. We have invented all these things alone by the power of our imagination in the course of the centuries. These fictional entities determine our rules and norms of living together. Nevertheless, we are also absolutely able to change these rules. We can create the future as a parallel world to the present, question our cultural model, and reconstruct it as if through building a puzzle. We can make the future tangible as a real world on the edge of our society - as a heterotopia. We can create access to it by establishing an endpoint, looking back to the beginning, and using this scope of action. From the endpoint, we can reorder our perspectives, asking ourselves "How do we want to have lived?"


The future is a concept, and we can rewrite its script. Denise Hirtenfelder wants to invite to a two-day conference where all participants meet at eye level. Everyone is a speaker and actively contributes. Under the title "Re-Writing the Script of the Future" she gives insight into her graduation project, which can be integrated into the topic of cessation. Followed by a short lecture on the topic and her future narrative method of "thinking in heterotopias" on the first day of the conference, a roundtable discussion will take place to critically examine behavioral structures and to manifest together in which topics we want to take active measures for the present. On the second day, groups will be formed under the themes identified in the manifesto and will have a few hours to work together to develop a narrative in the scope of action looking back from an endpoint in the future and a beginning point. The result of the conference is a printed publication that includes the presentations of the groups. Additionally, the conference will be documented on film, and the final product will be edited into a best-off video and possibly presented at several events.


The goal is not to find solutions to current social challenges of the future, but to formulate and work on critical questions that affect the present. The interactive conference is designed to move futurology from a small circle of experts to the greater world at large. Anyone interested in critiquing the present is invited to apply.

Location: foundation B.a.d (Stichting B.A.D.), Talingstraat 5, 3082 MG Rotterdam

Date: April 23-24, 2022

Duration: each day 13:00-18:00

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*The registration confirms at the same time your consent to be filmed at the conference, the processing of the collected data for further projects, and the presentation of the material at several events and on online platforms.

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