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About the Future in Times of Crises

For over a year now, people around the world have suffered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has laid bare our societies’ divides and driven fundamental changes in how we live and work. And its immediacy has sharpened our understanding of the other crises we face: inequality, authoritarianism and environmental collapse.

In the midst of these crises, the outlook for the future might seem dire, but we’ve also seen creativity and resilience emerge. New ways of doing things are being envisioned and tested. Solidarity is thriving.

In this new edition of Ding magazine we have invited activists, artists and writers from around the globe to share their thoughts about the future in times of crises. In seven essays they reflect on this year: On the hardship they and others have faced and what keeps them hopeful. They talk about their resilient communities and share strategies for cohesion.

Joel Kwong and Eric Siu take us to the citizen protest movement in Hong Kong—a movement which has abandoned hierarchies and leaders to become fluid and shapeless, like water. Writing about the recent protests in her home country of Belarus (the largest in its history), in “Future Perfect Continuous” Olia Sosnovskaya examines how people practice the future by living through the present. An essay on Pirate Care looks at how practices of repair, care and maintenance bring social justice into focus and enable the building of more open, ethical and fair structures for all.

While our instincts might be saying otherwise, if there ever were a moment to think about the future, it is now. Things that seemed impossible might be possible—but only if we dare to imagine and articulate them. These seven essays are an invitation.


This edition of Ding magazine is a collaboration between the Goethe Institute and Superrr Lab. It is co-curated by Julia Kloiber, Martina Puchberger, Irini Papadimitriou, Michelle Thorne, Jon Rogers and Elisa Lindinger. Design by Rainbow Unicorn. Editor: Katharine Waters <3
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Obtrusive Relationships
Gathering Multitudes: A bag of stars
Fugitive Memory: for Tu’i Malila
“The Quizumba is On”: Technological Appropriation by Black Women in the Amazônia
No
Big Green Lies
Letter from the Editors
A guide to the visceral science of time travel
The Unbounded Quest
An interview with Joana Varon
An interview with Jonathan Torres Rodríguez
An interview with futures leader Anab Jain
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Afropresentism – On Incantation and the Machine
Letter from the Editors
A Few Notes on the Cult of Sylphis
Speculative Tourism
Letter from the Editors
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The Battle to Control the Carbon Media Cycle
Archive of Disappearances
Prototyper la Banlieue du TURFU et transcender la réalité
To Become Undone
Digital artivism: pictures worth thousands of words
Ratios / Proporciónes
Shadow Visions
Letter from the Editor
Future Perfect Continuous
Be Water –  Insights into the Hong Kong protest movement
Care in a techno-capitalist world
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One Vision, One World. Whose World Then?
Play, imagine, build – the collective verbs
Venezuela – the dual crisis
Letter of the Editor
Terraforms – Or, How to Talk About The Weather
On Persistence: The Past Art/Works of An/Other Future
What the Enlightenment Got Wrong about Computers
Community Learning at Dynamicland
Imagining a Universal Declaration of Digital Rights
An interview with Audrey Tang
Dream Beyond the Wounds
The Blurring
More than HumanCentered Design
The Unpredictable Things
When the Path We Walked Blocks Our Ways Forward
Letter of the Editor
A viewpoint on Craft and the Internet
Who Controls the Internet?
Ethical Tech around the World
Interview with Gillian Crampton Smith
Life & Death
Typographic Craft
The Internet as a Lota
A Medieval Crash
A Gandhian Dream
Evolutionary Craft