Letter from the Editor About the Future in Times of Crises

Blue and red clouds of colour
© @rainbowunicornstudio

People around the globe have suffered from the corona pandemic in recent months. But COVID-19 is not the only crisis we are facing. The climate crisis and political crises add to this for many. How do these crises affect our view of the future? Do they make people resign themselves or do they take action? What strategies do communities use to stay resilient and strengthen their cohesion?

By Julia Kloiber

For over a year now, people around the world have suffered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has laid bare our societies’ divides and driven fundamental changes in how we live and work. And its immediacy has sharpened our understanding of the other crises we face: inequality, authoritarianism and environmental collapse.

In the midst of these crises, the outlook for the future might seem dire, but we’ve also seen creativity and resilience emerge. New ways of doing things are being envisioned and tested. Solidarity is thriving.

In this edition of Ding magazine we have invited activists, artists and writers from across the globe to share their thoughts about the future in times of crises. In seven essays they reflect on this year: on the hardship they and others have faced and what keeps them hopeful. They talk about their resilient communities and share strategies for cohesion.
Joel Kwong and Eric Siu take us to the citizen protest movement in Hong Kong – a movement which has abandoned hierarchies and leaders to become fluid and shapeless, like water. Writing about the recent protests in her home country of Belarus (the largest in its history), in “Future Perfect Continuous” Olia Sosnovskaya examines how people practice the future by living through the present. An essay on Pirate Care looks at how practices of repair, care and maintenance bring social justice into focus and enable the building of more open, ethical and fair structures for all.
While our instincts might be saying otherwise, if there ever were a moment to think about the future, it is now. Things that seemed impossible might be possible – but only if we dare to imagine and articulate them. These seven essays are an invitation.
This magazine is a collaboration between the Goethe Institute and Superrr Lab. It is co-curated by Martina Puchberger, Irini Papadimitriou, Michelle Thorne, Jon Rogers and Elisa Lindinger. Design by Rainbow Unicorn. Editor: Katherine Waters.

Digital poster publication of the magazine: