In 1516 Sir Thomas More coined the term “Utopia” to describe an idealistic society in which common principles are shared, people live by farming simply for survi- val and not for commerce and private properties and money are abolished.
But what is Utopia today? There are diverse realities around the world, which have translated abstract intellectual thoughts into experience, based on human qualities, but have they really given life to possible alternative ways of existence?This project is a visual journey which explores - from India and Singapore to Vancouver Island, Canada, across Europe and the United States - the world of utopian communities, ( alternative, spiritual, artistic, hippie, environmental) together with individual initiatives which embody the utopian spirit. Auroville, Sadhana Forest, Can Masdeu, Christiania, Damanhur, Marinaleda, Earthship, Elves,Vieille Valette, Freedom Cove, Yogaville, Twin Oaks. These are some of "Utopias" described in this long terms work and in the book. The project documents and try to understand how these communities, born decades ago, have evolved and how they managed to survive to the pressure of our dominant culture.
The “utopias” realized nowadays derive from experiments born as vanguard phenomena that often evolve in directions different from the original concept or from abandoned projects that were dropped when the propulsive drive behind them ended. They are less and less relegated to the niche of alternative movements, and they often tackle new challenges with different conditions and urgent needs. A new desire for “elsewhe-re” necessarily leads to an innovative re-definition ofthe nature and of the role of utopia. The American artist Steve Lambert states on this issue that they offer inspi-ration for new reflections: utopia is not simply a destination. It is a direction. These words underline the idea of a future, of a future without the same mistakes commit- ted in the past, a new point of view in the compass that orients our journey. Without utopias we would all travel without a direction trying to take a guess, in the hope of moving forward. The Desire for “Elsewhere” starts from here.