Following the first printed issue of KAJET—available for purchase herewww.kajetjournal.com—, we invite new collaborations to take place with regards to the realm of utopia. After the euphoric and intensely sought end of history, the promise of Westernisation for post-socialist states has grown stale, unpersuasive, and unrealistic. As the East ceases to want to become a mere New West anymore, Eastern Europeans face a prescient challenge: to create viable counter narratives to the parochial cultural and social system that has come to dominate the region. Concentrating our scope of interest onto the past, present, and future of utopian visions inside Eastern Europe, the second issue of KAJET seeks to offer alternative perspectives regarding the region's (trans)local radical imagination.
Utopia is an idea, a vision devised to substitute an unsatisfactory present, and, ultimately, a model to envisage and dream about a reformed future—an imaginary world, an enclave built upon ideal predicaments that contradict reality, a remote island surrounded by endless opportunities and further guided forward by the appeal of alternative interventions. Over the last decades of increased precariousness, the idea of utopia has disappeared in the tumultuous transformative processes that took the reins over Eastern Europe, transforming it into a worn-out ideal, discrediting it through harsh socio-cultural realities. At the same time, the very same bleak state of affairs has prompted toward recovering the notion from its crumbled condition, toward resurging utopian visions at the vanguard of a vital and much needed toolkit. In this regard, utopian visions (regardless of their imaginary, avant-garde, or therapeutic nature) become critical tools of investigating social, cultural, as well as political phenomena, including aspects of popular, marginal, parallel cultures. In the case of Eastern Europe, it is the very fluid history of the region that makes it the perfect site for critically delving into its troubled relationship with the notion of utopia. That is why, especially here, we must continue to juxtapose the current bleak state of affairs with a well-established ideal. Focusing on revolts and rebels, we seek to decipher and resurface utopianalternatives. At a time when the promise of liberal Westernism has reached a certain point of saturation in Eastern Europe, we’ve come to realise that we have been tricked into distrusting the existence of an alternative modernity, dooming ourselves to decades of stagnating, catching up and forever emerging.
So... is there room for utopia after utopia?
Suggested—although not exclusive—approaches to the issue include:
ϟ Literary, visual, scholarly interpretations of the notion of utopia inside Eastern Europe;
ϟ Neoliberal anti-utopianism of an enclaved Eastern Europe: aspects of migration, nationalism, xenophobia, homophobia;
ϟ Feminism, women, resistance, and a better future: feminist histories and modernities, their techniques of survival in communist, as well as neoliberal Eastern Europe;
ϟ Revolting on the fringes of society: the revolutionary role of peripheries and their social, cultural, political value;
ϟ Sexuality, queer voices, and minorities: revolts, anarchic movements, utopian visions with regard to LGBTQ politics;
ϟ Reenactments or representations of revolutions or revolutionary ideas through radical and experimental forms of art and revolutionary art movements (e.g. political theatre, music, visual culture, film, performance art);
ϟ Utopia and science fiction in Eastern European arts: from Bogdanov to Čapek, from Turgenev to Bulgakov, from Protazanov to Tarkovsky;
ϟ Utopian horizons in Russian art: cosmism, futurism, proletkult art, and the October Revolution;
ϟ Guerrilla warfare and living for the revolution: oral and life histories, fighting the status-quo through the everyday;
ϟ The prospect of a post-western world, emerging translocal art scenes, and diasporas: toward an Easternfuturism?
ϟ Eastern Europe and the radical imagination: how will the revolution look like, or how can we imagine the revolution?
ϟ Narratives of collective identities and individualism, disillusionment and utopianism in Eastern Europe;
ϟ Between utopia and dystopia: the liabilities of nationalism in Eastern Europe;
ϟ Revolutionary change and utopian visions, or how to fight for a better future: social unrests, youth movements, political uprisings;
ϟ Utopian possibilities of the body: disability, norms, and neoliberal biopolitics;
ϟ Ideology, the state, utopias, and cultural revolutions;
ϟ Neocolonialism, post-capitalist ecology, and the future of Eastern Europe
ϟ Cyber-utopianism, technology, and labour: artificial intelligence, machines, and the post-industrial revolution; the creation and production of knowledge and mental labour; technology and the future of labour as revolutionary prospect in Eastern Europe;
ϟ Utopian architecture and sustainability in the former Eastern bloc: the social production of space and the revolutionisation of everyday life through the architecture of change.
Besides these suggested themes, Kajet is also interested in publishing your short stories, (not-so-long) stories, autobiographical dreads and personal essays, poetry and literary fiction, photographs, illustrations, collages, drawings, and comics. Alternatively, feel free to send us whatever you feel could be relevant to the current issue: utopia, dystopia, revolts, the future.
Those interested in submitting their work should send us an email with the title, abstract, completed project, as well as a brief bio, by January 15, 2018.
Don't hesitate to get in touch with us. If you don’t have a completed project just yet, send us your ideas and we can work from there together.
For written works, the suggested word length is between 2,000 and 5,000 words.