In the centre of Fedora, that grey stone metropolis, stands a metal building with a crystal globe in every room. Looking into each globe, you see a blue city, the model of a different Fedora. These are the forms the city could have taken if, for one reason or another, it had not become what we see today. In every age someone, looking at Fedora as it was, imagined a way of making it the ideal city, but while they constructed their miniature model, Fedora was already no longer the same as before, and what had until yesterday been a possible future became only a toy in a glass globe.
— Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
This edition of DING magazine takes the city of Fedora as an inspiration for the inexhaustible vision of its people and a warning that visions without action cannot make a better future. The articles you will read here build on the relationships between people and systems. In challenging the power structures which determine whose ideas become reality, a chorus of different voices emerge that together offer new departure points for more equal and just digital futures.
The writers, artists and activists who have contributed to this edition seek to resist and question the trajectories on which we currently find ourselves. In so doing, they are scrutinising power – how it flows, where it accumulates and who has it. Around half of these contributions are from fellows on The New New Fellowship that we launched this year to support projects that are showing the inadequacy of the systems that surround us and are doing something about it. You will find short descriptions of the other Fellows’ projects throughout the magazine. The Fellowship is our own contribution to ensuring that better, inclusive visions are woven into the fabric of our futures.
Our contributors pay attention to how systems structure knowledge, power and lives. Jac sm Kee opens with an impassioned case for technology that “embodies and nourishes” the living complexity of feminist movements. Xiaowei Wang looks at how, long before predictive technologies created vectors of social power, divination was used to “foreclose the future” and maintain the status quo. Camila Nobrega reckons with how each of us is implicated within systems of value. She asks “Who is this ‘we’ trapped in an accelerated, future-oriented time?” She urges us to decolonise our utopias so that they may be fit for the future.
When we think of the entanglements of what-is and what-might-be suggested by Fedora, we realise that once something is articulated, or conceived, it attains a kind of existence. Makan Fofana and Hugo Pilate write that to terraform a symbiotic banlieue defined by abundance rather than want, people’s minds and attitudes must first open and change. Pedro Oliveira argues that to fully understand the violence inflicted upon those suspected of being ineligible to cross a border, we must radically expand our notion of what a border is.
English is one of the internet’s predominant languages, yet here you will find pieces in French, Greek, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese. We’ve worked with wonderful translators, which has added an extra layer of complexity. What is left out or resists interpretation is as important as what comes through clearly. Elena Silvestrini notes that since the Italian “sicurezza” and Spanish “seguridad” imply policing and security, the English term “safe” is often used to describe safe(r) spaces. Andrew Mallinson and Cami Rincón contribute two poems, in English and Spanish, which exist side by side, not as translations, but as companions or reflections, each of the other. Tinashe Mushakavanhu asks what can be done with the holes left by the repression of the Mugabe years, and how those tactics can be used to positively rectify the digital holes left by the languages, cultures and people who are under-served by or refused space on the internet.
Writing from perspectives of marginalisation, queerness and repression, it is at a point poised between critique, speculation and action that these contibutors are working. It is the edge of the possible, the state of what-if which defines pioneers – those who look beyond what is currently the case. If to imagine and speculate are acts of resistance, they are also only the first steps towards more emancipatory, equitable futures. In such an “arid, urgent present time,” we hope you will be inspired by their words.

Katherine Waters & Julia Kloiber, Superrr Lab

This magazine is part of The New New Fellowship – a programme that supports projects exploring equitable and inclusive digital futures across Europe. Throughout the magazine we hear from the fellows through essays, poems, articles and quotes.

This initiative by the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the non-profit Superrr Lab is carried out in cooperation with the Allianz Kulturstiftung and the Goethe Institut.

Tending to wildness: field notes on movement infrastructure
Aveia, espaçonaves, uma folha de babosa, uma pélvis: fui coletar trechos Oats, spaceships, an aloe leaf, a pelvis: I went to collect parts of the future and decided to turn around.
Προφορικό ποίημα για την προέλευση των Δικτύων Εμπιστοσύνης Narrative Poem about the Origins of Networks of Trust
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
HammamRadio, your feminist-love radio station
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