TOPOS this year

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_OTHER_ by Josselin Snoek

Our plans and a flying start

November 2016, not just the month in which the most affected American elections in years have come to a conclusion, but also the month in which TOPOS announces its plans for 2016-2017. Why did we wait until period 2? Are writers really such dreamers, completely oblivious to the fact that the academic year has long since begun? Well, apart from a couple of familiar faces, the TOPOS editorial board is brand new (Post Editorial Board) and therefore still a little green. This meant that this year’s start-up was paired with some laborious orientation and tough decisions. One decision we’ve made is that this year we will once again work with themes. The choice has fallen upon three themes: Escapism, Spiritual Landscapes, and Dreamscapes.

By Escapism we mean the feeling to have to deviate from the standard, in order to escape from this world. An excellent example is the tiny-housing trend. Eco-neighbourhoods can also be seen as a way of escapism, or taking your backpack and travelling into the wilderness, choosing a different path, living off the grid. Counter-movements, that’s what this theme is all about.

tiny-house

Image 1: Tiny House http://www.countryliving.com/home-design/g1887/tiny-house/?slide=1

We define Spiritual Landscapes as spiritual and religious landscapes. We delve into places like graveyards and crop formations. What is the Genius Loci, the deeper layer within a place? How do people experience a spiritual landscape? Are they embedded in culture?

st-budeaux-church-yard-2-11

Image 2: St Budeaux Churchyard https://lavenderhillmob.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/st-budeaux-church-yard-no1/

In our final theme, Dreamscapes, we step out of this world. These landscapes are illusions, ideals and dreams. In what direction are we dreaming ourselves? These dreams are paired with futurism: what is the city of the future? How do we envision utopia? Moreover, we pay attention to fictional landscapes: the thin line between movie decors and real places. Does that line even exist?

city-of-the-future

Image 3: Modern Utopia  http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2014/12/utopia-versus-myopia.html

Through these themes, we strive for depth and diversity in 2016-2017. Unlike in previous years, there will be a larger focus on our own writing. The editors are full of ideas and they are scribbling away at this very moment. Furthermore, teachers and experts will publish as usual. Take a look at our page regularly to find out what is happening in our shared professional field and learn from fellow students. Full of courage we will now put our pens to the paper; you will hear from us soon.

Let’s make TOPOS great again!

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