This is a creative task inspired by the novel ‘News from Nowhere’ by William Morris
William Morris was a British designer, writer and socialist in the Victorian times. He’s famous for the Arts and Crafts Movement, his friendship with Pre-Raphaelites, floral textile designs and buildings such as The Red House. He’s also known for a novel called News from Nowhere, in which his lead character, William Guest, wakes up in a utopian future. The story sends news from this utopia – which literally means ‘nowhere’ – to help Morris’ readers imagine an ideal future in which money, ‘wage slavery’ and marriage have been abolished. The lead character, Guest, is taken on a tour of London where the River Thames is clean enough to wash in, Kensington is a wild forest, and the Houses of Parliament are a market for manure and compost. Society succeeds because people find pleasure in the natural environment. People also enjoy their work, which is more locally based, less mechanised and more valuable to society.
See the illustrated book on https://g.co/arts/XArFiJ8NTZzPeTJw7
Possitopia is a ‘possible place’, or a Utopia that is actually somewhere, and affected by realities of the Earth crisis, but is also full of potential as wide as our imaginations will go.
Invite participants to create a news story from a future Possitopia
Prompts for getting started with stories:
- Treat it like a newspaper or radio show with several news stories from your future Possitopia, so small groups could work together on particular stories. Amazingly, it’s all good news! Have a time limit before going to press or broadcast.
- OR, Come up with a lead character, then imagine their journey in your future place. What happens when the character wakes up in this Possitopian place? Do they have a guide? What do they eat? Where do they go first? What do they see next? What questions does your character have about this place? What happens in the end?
- OR, write about a Possie of Possible Heroes in this place. What are their special powers and qualities? What adventures do they have? What problems do they solve? How do people in this place celebrate these heroes for their good deeds?
- OR, your story could be reports from a group of time-travellers on a research trip aiming to bring back ideas to the present day for how we might live.
Here are some possible ways to present your News from Possitopia:
- A newspaper (or whatever newspapers are in your future)
- A zine (a small, DIY magazine)
- A comic, with Possitopian heroes
- An illuminated manuscript, decorated and retro-futuristic
- A collage from cut up news, remixed to make it Possitopian.
See this piece ‘Sudden Summer’ by artist Freddie Yauner, inspired by News from Nowhere, interpreting it in the context of climate change.