14 October 2019

Dan Hassler-Forest at Betweter Festival about 'The Age of Dystopia'

In 2019, Betweter Festival explored how things can be done differently. Which persistent thoughts and habits would be good to leave behind us? What should we replace them with? And why do we actually like to stick with what we know? Dr. Dan Hassler Forest, assistant professor in Media Studies and member of the Utrecht Young Academy, gave a lecture about science fiction, dystopias and the crisis of our imagination.

Dan Hassler-Forest

Optimism is hard to find in contemporary science fiction. In The Hunger GamesThe Handmaid’s Tale and Black Mirror we see worlds dominated by violence, scarcity and inequality. According to Dan Hassler-Forest, this shows the crisis that our imagination is currently in. It seems as if a disastrous future is easier to imagine than one in which we find solutions for imminent climatic disasters, artificial intelligence and overpopulation. That is a problem, since our imagination and change are closely connected. Hassler-Forest explains the origins of this crisis and how we can think about a future with more perspective.

Watch the lecture below (in Dutch)