[u · to · pi: · a] is a photographic project by Carlo Bevilacqua who, after having explored the world of contemporary hermits with "Into The Silence", has dedicated almost five years to the realization of this journey into the world of "realized utopias" . From India and Singapore to Vancouver Island, Canada, crossing Europe and the United States, between alternative, spiritual, artistic, hippie, ecological communities but also encountering individual initiatives that embody the utopian spirit of big business. From the eco-spiritual community of Damanhur in Italy to those of Auroville in India and Mandarom in France, from Spirit Land in Wales to the socialist village of Marinaleda in Andalusia, from Christiania, in Denmark, the most famous of the urban hippie communities, to Uzupis the district of the artists of Vilnius in Lithuania. It's still. From the examples of the United States such as Yogaville, Twin Oaks, The Farm, Arcosanti, Eliphante and Earthship in Singapore, the city of capitalist utopia, to companies that, such as Mulai, which alone planted a forest of 1500 hectares on a an island of the river Bramhaputra in India devastated by a flood that of Joop Van Lishout in Rotterdam an artist who has developed his own poetics on post-industrial utopia.
In 1516, the philosopher Thomas More, most likely inspired by Plato's republic, coined the term "utopia" to describe a society idealized by community principles, which thrives on agriculture, produces only for consumption and not for the market, where property private and money are abolished. But what is Utopia today? Are there realities that have been able to translate intellectual abstractions into experience and have really given life to alternative possibilities of existence based on the qualities of Man? Over the years, many settlements on a human scale have been born and developed in which, not only are egalitarian societies, micro-universes in continuous evolution, whose organization is based on models that try to reconcile, are imagined, but also experimented with. a high quality of life to the protection of natural resources with an approach that integrates ecology, education, participatory decision-making methods, alternative technologies and economic projects. Daughters of experiments born as avant-garde phenomena, sometimes evolved in different directions from those initially conceived or abandoned once the propulsive thrust ceased, the "realized utopias" today, less and less relegated to the niches of alternative movements, find themselves facing unprecedented challenges with different and urgent requests. A renewed desire for "elsewhere" necessarily entails a redefinition of the nature and role of utopia. The words of the American artist Steve Lambert in this regard offer the starting point for a new reflection: “utopia more than a destination is a direction. The purpose of utopia is to give a direction in order to progress and not that of a "place" to reach. The idea of a "future" is implicit, of a future without mistakes made previously, with a new point of view in the compass that guides our journey ... "