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Michel.Evanchik.Net » Blog Archive » Utopia in Pictures

Utopia in Pictures

A wonderful French online exhibition on Utopian visions has some startling galleries of illustrations. They deal with old conjectures about the future, contemporary accounts of Western encroachment into the New World, and social and economic revolution. I have posted some of the most striking images below.

While the clothing styles are now antiquated and the implementations of the technology may seem quaint to us, the ideas themselves are very advanced. A set of colored lithographs from 1910 envisioning the year 2000 anticipates many modern advances:

Mechanized Warfare

mech_warfare_1910_2000.jpg

_bike_mech_warfare_1910_2000.jpg

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The Automation of Manual and Intellectual Tasks

building_auto_1910_2000.jpg

barber_auto_1910_2000.jpg

beauty_auto_1910_2000.jpg

book_learning_1910_2000.jpg

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Networked Telecommunications

video_chat_1910_2000.jpg

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High Speed Trains

train_1910_2000.jpg


A set of engravings made from late 16th century drew from contemporary accounts and drawings to present Native American life in colonial Virginia. Most striking is the naked sexuality on display.

venus_virginia.jpg

The native subjugation of women,

subjugation_virginia.jpg

and idyllic aboriginal lesbian orgies interrupted by raping English soldiers.

orgy_virginia.jpg


Finally, a set of popular posters from the 1968 revolution in France still has resonance. Forty years later, France’s working class enjoy a higher standard of living, not measured in ticky-tacky-consumer goods, but in better health care, greater leisure time and workers’ rights, and a culture and economy fostering a generally more civilized and humane way of life. Maybe Americans could learn a little about collective action from the French:prison_school_68.jpg“no more schools as prisons”

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gears_68.jpg

“Break the Old Gears”

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worker_power_68.jpg

“worker power
peasant power
student power
power to the people PSU [ Unified Socialist Party]”

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support_68.jpg

“Support the occupied factories for the people’s victory”

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non_1968.jpg

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smash_68.jpg

“Despite the treachery of the syndicates
Against the hellish schedules
For our 40 hours
STRIKE”

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end_68.jpg

“We’re going to the finish”

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factory_68.jpg

“Long live the occupation of the factories”

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essential_68.jpg

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university_68.jpg

“No to the Bourgeois [Capitalist] University
Yes to the Popular University”

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[the rough translations are by me]


It really is a wonderful exhibition and I hope that you will check out the rest of it. I have not included all the galleries or the copious commentaries. Sadly, the links to the English version seem to be dead.

One Response to “Utopia in Pictures”

  1. Val Jones Says:

    good good

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