February 22, 2011
Utopian visioning: let’s queer it up!
So, I’m taking this class called Utopian Visions for Social Change. Kind of a mouthful, right? Well, the topics we talk about in class is even bigger and more complicated to sort through, but it’s fantastic to vision as a group. We work towards learning how we will act to create social change in our communities to get closer to our ideas of what utopian society we would like to be a part of. At first when I started this class I thought the objective was in envision a world where we took on all the social/cultural/political injustices we didn’t like and figure out how to elminiate them with one ultimate plan. However, I quickly learned that for me, creating “my” utopia would be about reconnecting with all the communties I see my self a part of and using those connections I have to create utopian spaces.
For me, the Q Center is a major hub for my utopian visioning. I am surrounded by a team of people committed to creating a safe space for all humans. The Q Center gives me access to resources (and all students/staff) to make my visions come to life and be actively involved in reshaping the world I live in.
What does it take to vision? The simple answer is imagination, but there are countless ways to express thoughts and ideas. In class we’ve looked at different modes of expression like artwork, writing fiction, theater, music, and creating ethical spectacles. While the visioning end is one part of what is done the other big part is engaging others in the goals you have and collectively transforming visions into actions (utopian praxis).
Our final assignment for this class is to create the framework for a workshop we could potentially hold in the future that would be a puzzle piece in creating our utopian society. I know exactly what I want: A learning community where we actively break down the role that gender, gender expression, orientation and heteronomativitly plays in our education, while also providing a space where educational standards that marginalize students do not exist. How will I get there? I guess we’ll see over the decades to come.
I’ve had the opportunity to talk to people who have made this kind of vision ( an educational/learning utopia) their life’s work, and I have also chatted with high school teachers who could not conceptualize not having grading. I found it upsetting to hear that some of these former teachers who I find wildly inspirational do not believe the utopia I want is attainable. However, I feel like my positionality puts me in the right place to keep me believing in such a world.
Like most of my thoughts, I am not 100% sure why I started blogging about this and will likely have more half complete thoughts to follow this up at some point. I suppose the purpose of this is so that I can hear about ways other people are visioning or creating utopias in their own communities.