Utopia (backwards)


Utopia (backwards), research drawing project, pen and gouache and animated gifs, 2014.
Exhibited at Salon Klimbim, the Secession, Vienna, 2014 and produced as a self-published zine.

On July 16 1893, on a cold and rainy winter’s day, a boatload of revolutionaries huddled under the banner “all for each and each for all” as they left Sydney Harbour and set sail for a small piece of land in the jungles of Paraguay to build utopia. They were later joined by a trickle of other recruits creating a troubled micro society called New Australia.

Their journey was ill-fated and improbable leaving an almost comic legacy of a group of decedents, far from their ancestor’s home, with a smattering of red hair and freckles, who spoke Spanish or Guaraní with a few words of archaic Australian slang from the 1890s thrown in such as “Strewth” “Fair Dinkum”, “Boil the Billy” and “Smoko”. Today there is virtually nothing left of the small community, even the name of the town Nueva Australia has been changed, in an ironic twist of fate, to Nueva Londres.

Utopia (backwards) is a drawing exploration of nineteenth century utopian experiments. To order a full-colour zine  of the project email zanny.b[at]gmail.com ($5). To download a PDF click here.

For a related essay see Unthinking Utopia – Borderless as Method.

Utopia (backwards), Pen and gouache drawings, 2014


Utopia (backwards), a series of animated gifs, 2014