To what extent are our views about the present defined by terminology? To what extent do terms define us? Who defines the terms? What’s hidden behind them? Lupo Burtscher translated for the project Utopia Europa three questions into five posters and opened a webpage for statements together with the project partners.

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What crisis? What fears? What borders? is an analysis of certain terms that seem to be everywhere at the moment and have an enormous impact on how we view the present. It is an attempt to hold them at arm’s length and to ask: Are these the right words? Are there others we could use? What are they? What words do I want to see in the present and how should I use them? For words not only define the way we look at our age but also how we respond to it. With an awareness of fear? Awareness of a crisis? Awareness of borders?

As co-founders and co-curators of the Lungomare cultural association (initiators of the Utopia Europa project together with Literatur Lana and NIDS – Neues Institut für dramatisches Schreiben), Lupo Burtscher translated these three questions into five languages and designed posters that repeat the questions over and over again in a way that would be almost entirely redundant if the words didn’t relate to each other differently in each of the different languages. The questions are for everyone: for all those who hold on to the idea of a European fortress and think borders solve problems, and for all those who arrive here, bide their time and wait for the chance to rebuild their lives without ever giving up hope that people might someday understand why they had to abandon their home countries.

Both the substance and the design of these questions addresses and fits into a situation that is in constant flux; events overtake each other and things change so quickly that they can scarcely be understood. Colour gradients in various forms and tones provide a visual anchor for precisely these questions of substance. Webpage entries by various authors, thinkers and cultural producers give personal statements on these questions.

Client

Literatur Lana, Lungomare, NIDS – Neues Institut für Dramatisches Schreiben

Year

2016

Project team

Adeline Vieira