Radical Dreaming

The Swarm provides a mission for creatives, and demands a repurposing of the role of the artist in society. We invite artists to explore and elaborate informed visions of alternative futures, to help NGOs weave more compelling narrative around system change and to shift the public understanding of what is possible. This process of what we call RADICAL DREAMING is one of the most urgent tasks of all. It is infinitely rich creative territory for creative artists, and mounts a significant challenge to the ongoing fashion for irony and art for arts sake. These ideas raise fascinating challenges for creatives – what value changes and mind shifts need to occur? What will a day in a life be like? What new aesthetics emerge in response to the realization the old progress myths are broken? How can art and/or agit-prop art persuade and provoke positive change?

To being with, here are the synopsis of 3 novels or graphic novels Swarm artists are already undertaking on their own.  Each of these are good examples of radical dreaming and we eagerly await their completion.


Suburb of Paris, 2050 : Sienne, 16 years old, and his brother Vincent, 14 years old, live together with their mother, Jeanne, a poor but passionate scientist specialized in tree studying. To survive, the family has to collect plastic in abandoned houses, left by rich people who now all live in Cities centers after the Great Collapse : not enough gas and not enough renewable energies to run the world economy. Storms, drought and floods are happening all the time and the scientific community has just discovered that most part of the trees are sick. Just before dying, Sienne’s mother gives her daughter a mission that could save both the trees and the human people. The young girl has to find a grand-mother she never met and a mysterious community she’s never heard of, hidden somewhere in the south of France.

Sister and brother leave an old but loved house with their mother’s ashes gathered in a jam pot. They start a dangerous trip accross France. Step by step, they discover a new emerging society underneath the ashes of the old world, a powerful network of people who fight for their ideas, a new way to live in symbiosis with Earth. Most of all, they experience an incredible connexion to the living that fill their soul with joy, strength and hope.

This novel project won the “Centre National du Livre” Novel scholarship

“MOKATORI” graphic novel project by CAMILLE BISSUEL 

Alternative futures in a warming world… 

“Mokatori” is an amazonian Indian word for “climate change.” Episode 0 has just been published and can be downloaded from Amazon or read online for free here: http://nylnook.com/en/comics/mokatori-ep0-the-end/


The synopsis:

“And if the inhabitants of tomorrow sent us letters? From 2054 to 2077, from Iceland to Afghanistan, from cataclysms to utopias, five stories draw our possible futures during the “Mokatori”, the word for climate change among Amazonian Indians. The graphic novel will be published as 5 episodes as follows:

Episode. 0 – “The end”Mexico City, Mexico, November 27, 2015
Episode. 1 – “Business as usual”Reykjavik, Iceland, March 20, 2054
Episode. 2 – “Time Machine” – Taipei, 臺北市臺北市Taiwan, November 13, 2084
Episode. 3 – “In the shade of fig trees – Farsala, Φάρσαλα, Greece, July 17, 2077
Episode. 4 – “Masters of the stratosphere”Walvis Bay, Namibia, February 29, 2060
Episode. 5 – “Living” Kunduz کندز, Afghanistan, April 3, 2072



[… …]


This is an ongoing brief to artists in our circles and beyond. When we have enough work, Swarm will help expose the work and find ways to link it to the work of NGOs and change makers.  How can you respond creatively to the system change imperative? To be credible, the imaginative engagement must be informed by plausible solutions and insight into the problems we face. We will establish partnerships between creatives and think tanks, NGOs or individual experts in decarbonisation, system change or new economics.  To begin with, here are our first Swarm 10 principles, distilled from academic literature on post-growth economics, and well-being principles. Instead of GDP growth, and the maximisation of shareholder profit, should not the core purpose of an economy be to promote human happiness and well-being within a healthy and resilient biosphere?

Beautiful disruption. 10 aspects of a better life in the new economy of well-being:

1) In the new economy, time is honey. More pleasure time and work sharing will be promoted to support the transition beyond economic consumption growth.

2) In the new economy, the successful people will be those who have uncluttered their lives from status goods, but enriched themselves and their communities.

3) In the new economy, fossil fuels will be left in the ground. In a warming world, the old generation of Oil Men will be cursed. The positive business and investments that will be supported and valued will be those that advance the new sustainable economy of well-being.

4) With improved equality, and the social link between consumption and status broken, the ‘good jobs’ may change to become those that are pleasurable or meaningful.

5) In the new economy, people will no longer be referred to as ‘consumers’ and will have a chance to become citizens once more. Citizens will be more involved in helping decide the purpose of an economy that serves everyone, and the positive, sustainable vision for the future.

6) Communities and sustainable cooperatives will grow stronger through community renewable energy projects, local food production and community currencies (time banks, skills sharing schemes, valuing unpaid work).

7) An explosion and rebirth in arts and popular culture will emerge in response to the realisation the old story is over. (Swarm Art.)

8) In exchange for a new pleasure seeking and encouraging leisure time, people will be asked to reduce their impact on the environment and embrace new ways of travelling, eating and living.

9) Access to nature and green spaces is highly prized in the New Economy, understood as central to mental and physical health. Measures are taken to make access more equal. Care for nature and for each other takes on moral force.

10) New heroes and festivals will be recognised. They will be people or organisations that make great contributions to solving the climate crisis, or events that inspire values central to the New Story.

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