14.08.2023 | Kunst und Ökonomien

Workshop report: The Future that Will Have Been

Highlights of the recent workshop in Karakalpak, organized by documenta Institute in partnership with The Art and Culture Development Foundation of Uzbekistan

We are excited to share the highlights of the recent workshop “The Future that Will Have Been,” organized by documenta Institute in partnership with The Art and Culture Development Foundation of Uzbekistan. The workshop is conceived as part of the preparation for the Aral Culture Summit that is scheduled for October this year.

Over the course of three days, participants crafted their sci-fi stories, guided by tutors Mi You, Patricia Reed, Rahesh Ram, Yulia Gromova, and Gary Zhexi Zhang. The workshop provided a unique opportunity to learn more about the Karakalpak region and explore the ecological and cultural narratives around it.

“The Future that Will Have Been,” took science fiction and fantasy literature as a mythopoetic tool, which allows us to anticipate the future where the natural and human histories converge. Participants developed their stories on the rich body of Karakalpak sci-fi literature from the 60ies, 70ies and 80ies. They have researched literary archives in order to interweave futuristic motives of the earlier Karakalpak authors with the local legends and myths.

In the next phase, we plan to compile the insights and experiences gathered during the workshop into a publication. The primary goal of this publication is to share the body of early Karakalpak sci-fi alongside the newly produced novels with a wider audience.

The workshop aimed to go beyond the imaginary by bridging the gap between civic tech and the cultural sectors. As part of  the “civic tech” chapter of the workshop, participants visited three organizations known for their expertise and innovative practices. These are the laboratory and research center of GIZ at the Karakalpak Institute of Agriculture and Agrotechnologies, the UNDP Youth Center, and the International Innovation Center for the Aral Sea Basin. Through interactive sessions, discussions, and hands-on activities, the group gained valuable insights into the inner workings of these organizations and gained insight into how social and ecological challenges can be addressed through a blend of technology and cultural perspectives.

We are grateful to the organizations that generously hosted our students and provided them with such valuable learning experiences. We also commend our students for their active participation and enthusiasm throughout the workshop.

Stay tuned for more updates on the publication and upcoming workshops.