Possible new heterotopias

Saturday, October 17, 2015 - 12:00pm - 1:30pm


I would like to organize a gathering that invites practicioners (such as artists, scientists, communications experts, communities, food - and environmentalist activists, and non-humans actors) to share thoughts on possible new heterotopias today. Dwelling on the term from Michel Foucault I´m interested in investigating todays possible ways of abstracting, recontextualizing power structures in order to develop new ways of life, new scopes of actions – that maybe d not lead to easy answers but to an opening up of new perspectives. 


I´m a free curator, based in Berlin and besides my work for a big cultural institution andmy PhD, I organize different formats as a personal research on developing new heteretopias today.

Class involvement

Desiree Foerster's picture Desiree FoersterProposed, Facilitating, Following
Georgia Muenster's picture Georgia MuensterFollowing, Offered to help organize
Jaime's picture JaimeFollowing, Offered to help organize


A heterotopia names a space of otherness that might exist within common orders or outside. They might be built upon established structures and rules, but abstract them, differentiate or reconfigure them.

In this section I invite you to learn more about Foucaults term of the heterotopias and going together on a little imaginary journey to think about ways, how such heterotopias could look like today, what would need to change and how we could contribute to that change.

Starting from looking into selected texts we dig deep into the pain: what is bothering us about our current humane, societal, political situation? What concerns keep us awake at night? What else is possible?

We don´t stop here, on the level of sharing anxieties or anger – this is not therapy. But in following the thoughts of what would need to be done, who would be part of processes of change, and in what ways, a clearer picture of how space can be created that abstracts, disturbs and transforms the structures our lives seem to be dependent on. The most amazing outcome would be to realize, that the range of perspectives is endless – that being said, I´m eager to learn more and get surprised.

hi Desiree, 

I think providing some support through collectively reading these texts can underscore that Utopia School defines "utopias" in a very similar way to how Foucault defines "heterotopias" (as "enacted utopias").

I think the challenge will be, how to use these readings to help with this overall idea, especially for people who aren't already familiar with these writings, or who don't identify themselves as being interested in or needing philosophy to validate the real-world activities they're already involved in.

I'm really looking forward to this!

I agree. And i think we can address that very open and talk about pissibilities to see heterotopias open up in our own lives. I would like to do a reading group of several texts, both Foucaults "Other Spaces" but also other texts relating to the topic; My aim would be to make this reading as part of a larger gathering, that connects different perspectives and practices, thinking together, how heterotopias could look like today, addressing the very things in our lives, that make us feel sad, disconnected, weak - how can we find perspectives and ways to open up space for action that stays strongly connected to our conrete lives?

In case you want to add texts all sorts to the reading -please bring them! The texts will give a basis for discussion and for developing ideas about new shared heteretopias.