The Dreaming Utopias event took place on Saturday 30th of April 2016 at Bow Church.
The event aimed to provide an open space for local people to dream about their ideal places (their Utopias) and the future of Bow. The day offered a variety of creative activities and opportunities to reflect, to talk to one another, interact with artists and create visions of a utopian Bow.
One hundred and forty people engaged with the activities in some way.
We set up a table outside the church and a lot of people talked to us about their Bow Utopia. We asked them to write a word on a label to express what utopia means for them. The labels were tied to helium balloons that were attached to the church railings to create a tapestry of ideas and dreams.
Many themes emerged from the discussions and the artefacts, voices and texts produced. Participants valued the opportunity to walk into a space where they were free to wander around, explore other people’s creations, and share their ideas. The focus on dreaming helped create a playful and relaxed environment. People talked about community, and about core values such as understanding, listening, talking to one another. They talked about peace and conflict, about beating racism, about learning, about play. They talked about greener places. They talked about their love of Bow and about their fights to make places more inclusive for everyone.
There are many lessons to be learned from this event and hope to share more here as we analyse and collate our observations and experiences.
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