Utopia | 47.1

2024

There are so many issues with utopia. A word now tinged with naïveté, utopia’s roots are Millenialist, tied directly with white settlers’ loneliness, and to their wonderment at the unending injustices wherever their colonization efforts spread.

But “utopia” isn’t static. I first came to utopic thought though religion, but I reinvented for myself it via Ursula K. Le Guin and anarchism. I knew there had to be a better way, and I knew that dreaming it, living it, and knowing it were necessary steps toward that vision.

I have come to see joy and utopia as intertwined. Joy can be in hard work, in connection vis-à-vis conflict, or in finding a moment of calm. And both joy and utopia—if not utopia, then positive understandings of what is real and possible—are vital. There is a dire need for imagining ourselves in joyful existence.

We find it in this issue. Larissa Lai pokes and prods at the tangled mess of utopic dreaming in today’s world, Terese Mason Pierre’s interview with Whitney French looks toward the Black futurisms of today, and Julia Rose Sutherland imbues our cover with Indigenous brilliance. Throughout, writers and artists unpack the hesitance in declaring something “utopic” with sharp analysis and dreamy wonder. Together, we wander through dozens of different conceptions of utopia: as romantic love, as Indigenous being, as queer existence, as relationship with nature, as grief, as disability rights, as the reclamation of the past and the naming of its injustices, as friendship, as unrepentant care.

In our artistic practices and our activisms, we are constantly inventing new and original worlds—with every protest, every political zine, and every direct action we declare that the future is not yet decided. Our wish to you is that we all find utopia for ourselves, in past, in present, and in the gleaming, unwritten future.

Finally, much gratitude for the labour and love of the Augur Guest Editors: Kerry C. Byrne, Conyer Clayton, Toria Liao, Nara Monteiro, Terese Pierre Mason, Kelley Tai, and Yilin Wang. What a beautiful and interesting ride this has been.

—Micah Killjoy

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ROOM 47.1: Utopia

Editor: Micah Killjoy
Augur Magazine Guest Editors: Kerry C. Byrne, Conyer Clayton, Toria Liao, Nara Monteiro, Terese Mason Pierre,
Kelley Tai, Yilin Wang
Cover Art: Gi’nujing “Pride” by Julia Rose Sutherland

In this issue: leena aboutaleb, Manahil Bandukwala, leah baptiste, Melissa Barrientos, Nathalie Batraville, Moira Brown, Kerry C. Byrne, Samantha Carr, Meghan Eaker, Casey Epstein-Gross, Geneviève François, Whitney French, Jasmine Gui, Gillian Joseph, Leela Keshav, Micah Killjoy, Kimberly Kuniko, Emma Kuzmyk, Larissa Lai, Yuji Lee, Jannell Lo, Nisa Malli, Jennifer McDougall, Edie Meade, Janet Pollock Millar, Tiffany Morris, Terese Mason Pierre, Dora Prieto, Heather Saluti, Mahaila Smith, Kelsey Smoot, Julia Rose Sutherland, Senka Stankovic, Miriam Vaswani, Andi Vicente, Andar Wärje, Suritah, Teresa Wignall, Erin Wilson, Jessica Wu, Hannah Yerington, E.R. Zarevich, Amy Zeng, Katherine Zheng