Talk Utopia: A Conversation with Ilija Trojanow and Benjamin Kunkel

Utopia: A conversation with Ilija Trojanow and Benjamin Kunkel © Manuel Miranda



Register Here When we ask "what spaces are we fighting for," we mostly conjure ideas of existing spaces in our cities and societies. In this talk, Ilija Trojanow and Benjamin Kunkel ask us to take a step into the imaginative and inspirational - in both fiction and politics, utopia is the most important space in our democracies. After all, what are we fighting for if we don't believe a better world is possible?

To quote Trojanow, “We live in times of the apocalypse. We keep dystopias like pets: imagining the end of the world is one of our favorite pastimes and a mass-culture phenomenon. Neoliberal ideology has convinced us that it’s a shitty world but nothing else is possible.”

Ilija Trojanow was born in Bulgaria in 1965. After fleeing his homeland he was granted political asylum in Germany. He spent ten years in Kenya and five years in Mumbai before returning to Germany where he remains one of the country’s pre-eminent literary novelists. Most recently, his book The Lamentations of Zeno (Eistau), was translated by Philip Boehm and published by Verso Books in 2016.

Benjamin Kunkel is the author of the best-selling book Indecision and a founding editor of n+1, as well as the author of Utopia or Bust: A Guide to the Present Crisis. He has written for the New Yorker, Dissent, and the London Review of Books. He lives in Colorado.