Dystopia and Sociology: Johanna Ross, Mihkel Mutt and Tõnis Kahu

What will the future bring? This question will be answered unequivocally only once the future runs out. Before that there will always be some lingering anxiety. Placing the question in a dimension that encompasses the whole of humanity, one could stoically note that people have always feared the end of the world; yet one cannot ignore the fact that global environmental problems seem to grow and accumulate at the moment. This tendency may be one of the reasons why dystopias play a much greater role in today’s science fiction literature than utopias – although it may not always be possible to separate them completely. In any case, apart from entertainment value, dystopias also offer social reflection, thoroughly played out warnings, prospects to be avoided. To give the simplest example, one could say that 1984 by George Orwell is not evocative in today’s world only because it was a painful reflection of the totalitarian systems of the day, but also because it outlined phenomena and trends that have become common in our current society. The role and potential of literature in reflecting on humanity’s prospects will be discussed by literary scholar Johanna Ross, writer and essayist Mihkel Mutt and culture theoretician Tõnis Kahu. The conversation will be recorded for the radio programme Ööülikool.

The event is in Estonian.


Tallinn Central Library