November 27, 2010

The future?

Dongguan/ New South China Mall
Originally uploaded by macchi.

One of the highlights of IDFA was seeing a showing of Utopia in Four Movements. A special screening with live narration from the director and live music by a band as the images were playing.

In four chapters, it talks about different interpretations of utopia - not so much the search for an actual location but efforts that people have made in the past to move towards a utopian world. Examples used were Esperanto, mass political movements but also the inventor of shopping malls. Did you know he originally envisaged malls as a community center where people would be together and share - and not just to shop/consume/buy?

An example of shopping malls into the extreme is the South China Shopping Mall in Dongguan, China. I was there last April and wandered around this building - the largest shopping mall in the world - in amazement. It was a ghost town.

Not only is it an example of a shopping mall gone wrong, but also of the realization that continuous investment and continuous economic growth might actually not be possible.

Tim Jackson explains this on TED:

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