Narratopias Q&A

You can find the full description of the project here.

What Is Narratopias and How Can I Take Part?
What is Narratopias?

Narratopias is a project initiated by the Plurality University Network (U+), that intends to take the recurring call for “new narratives” seriously and organize a collective response to it.

U+’s role in this project is to offer help and support to individuals and organizations wishing to share content and organize activities around Narratopias; to create and manage “commons” such as the Library (see below); to organize get togethers and working sessions around the project in order to collectively reflect on the objectives and actions evolving from the search for, and use of, new transformative narratives.

How long is the project

The project is meant to last at minimum two years.

What is the overall objective of Narratopias?

The project has two main objectives. First, to collect existing “new narratives” from all over the world and make them accessible via a “Library”. Second, to connect, facilitate and support initiatives that both enrich the diversity of narratives, and use them to empower individuals and communities to think up or effect transformations.
Overall, we wish to create a community of persons and groups who discuss, share and learn with each other (different cultures, different visions, different areas of work and activity) by using and adapting transformative narratives in their field of practice and turn them into seeds of concrete change.

Are there specific milestones for the project?

The 1st milestone (April 2021) is to collect and make accessible a critical mass (300+, and truly diverse) of “new narratives” from all over the world.

The following milestones will be decided collectively with those individuals and organizations interested in taking part in the project. We have pre-identified three goals, but they can still evolve: an “Atlas” representing the landscape of collected narratives; an “Agora” where narratives are discussed and formats for fruitful debate are tested; a “Lab”for testing the transformative power of narratives on the ground, and sharing between initiatives that do that.

Why should I be part of the project?

By taking part in this project, you are participating in a mouvement to diversify and promote alternative narratives for the future. You are also meeting with individuals from different backgrounds and professions and exchanging with a community about new and existing tools and methods as well as learning how to workshop and act starting from art and imagination.

Who can participate?

Narratopias is an open project meaning, there is a place for every person, group or organization who wishes to participate. Participation is not reserved to U+’s members.

Who should participate?

Artists, designers, utopists, etc., who see their creations as contributing to the store of “new narratives”.
Collectives who work with people and communities on coproducing new narratives, at whatever scale.
Activists interested in the role of narratives to add depth and reflexivity to their experience.
Researchers, students, teachers, interested in combing through the collected material, in testing new formats, or reflecting on the link between imagination and concrete change.
And so on. Whatever your reason to take part, it’s probably right.

How can I participate?

We are currently in the first steps of the project, there are two main ways to participate:
Contribute to building the collective Library: share a narrative or organize a “collect” workshop with your community (in the next section, you will find the necessary information to guide you);
Share your project, practice or interest in relation to narratives and change, and discuss how it can contribute to/benefit from Narratopias. We will be holding regular get-togethers in order to allow you to interact with us as well as one another. The next session is on march 17th @ 2h30pm (CET)

Narratopia’s First Call for Contributions: Building a collective library of alternative narratives

Putting in common a library of alternative narratives from a diversity of cultures and places around the world has been collectively decided as the first step of the project. It is an important goal to reach as it will constitute the material we will be working with and from along the way.

How can I participate?

There are two ways to participate:
You can share a “new narrative” directly on the corpora platform (see below), or by sending us an email.
You can organize or take part in a workshop dedicated to collecting and discussing narratives. (The next Narratopias training workshop to learn how to put in place such a workshop is on march 18th @ 2:30 pm (CET).

What is the Corpora Platform?

“Corpora” is an open-source online platform developed with a group of researchers, l’atelier des chercheurs, with the purpose of building collaborative content libraries. The platform is here to reference content usually accessible elsewhere (online or offline), rather than host complete works. Anyone can contribute, and all of the contributed material is accessible to all. Corpora collects zero personal data.

What narratives can I share on the platform?

Corpora is a platform meant to collect references, quotes, videos, images,essays, websites… These Narratives can be presented in stories, utopias, images or videos, games, design fictions… They can be about the future, the present or even the past, so long as they intend to enable or facilitate transformative action or effect a reconstruction of some sort, at any scale (from local community to the Planet). They can be your own work, or references that you find fertile and inspiring; Original or pre-existing works; Based on pure imagination or on existing initiatives and experiences.

  • As an individual: You can reference a piece of your or someone else’s work on Corpora
  • As an organization or a collective: If you have a practice of organizing creative workshops and/or already have a bank of narratives or reference on your website, please enter your initiative on the platform.
    If you wish to use Corpora as a support for the narratives produced during a workshop, please choose the ones you believe best fit with the definition of a transformative narratives (above). If this is unclear, contact us!
  • The material has to be referenced back to the author.
Is the content curated and if so, by whom?

There is no curation before your content is posted on the platform. We reserve the right to remove content if they fall outside legal boundaries( for example, if it is discriminative, racist, climate-denialist…). We will not remove the content based on personal tastes or opinions.

How will you make sure the content is of good quality if there is no curation?

We see the Library of Alternative Narratives as a “commons”, a collective and fragile resource towards which all contributors share a collective responsibility, even if we manage it on a day-to-day basis. All contributors should treat it with care, ensuring what they post on it is relevant to Narratopias, correctly referenced, etc. There will always be time to establish stricter rules if the necessity arises, but we prefer to err on the side of trust.