Utopian and dystopian worlds

At the beginning of 2015 my husband was offered a new job as HR Vice-President of the EEMA region (Eastern Europe and Middle Africa) and we were asked to move from Zurich to Dubai.
It was not the first time we moved to a foreign country – actually we always had a kind of “nomadic” life, living in five different countries in the last 15 years -; but when I was asked to move to Dubai I felt a profound sense of disconcert and despair.
I never thought to Dubai as a real country.
In my imagination Dubai was an artificial world I never wished to visit even for a holiday, let alone for living. The imagine I had of the city was of an impressive futuristic architecture hiding under powerful signs of wealth and luxury some of the most disturbing nightmares of our contemporary world: alarming social inequalities, absence of democracy, no rights for women, a cultural clash between East and West, religious dictatorship.
I was therefore deeply shocked by the idea of moving which awakened such violent fears, struggling to come to term with the new impending reality; but, after the initial despair, I suddenly felt my imagination was teased by the curiosity of how life could be in such a different “dystopian” world.
Face to the challenges of our contemporary society dystopia, I argue, is a more useful perspective than utopia in order to understand the unconscious fears that constellate the mind of modern women and men.
Dystopia is the opposite of utopia – the Greek prefix “dis” means bad, frightening -, and can be defined as “an imaginary community or society that is undesirable or frightening” (the source of the definition is Wikipedia). Dystopian worlds are today widely popular in fiction, literature, cinema, paintings and many artistic works of fantasy as degenerate models of societies, usually setting an impending future characterized by dehumanization, totalitarian governments, environmental disasters or other characteristics associated with a cataclysmic decline in society. In that way, they tend to depict some of the worst nightmares of our contemporary society, bringing them out to consciousness, making them tangible through works of fiction that draw the attention to real world issues which, if unaddressed, could potentially lead to such a dystopia-like condition.
In a more or less conscious way, I found myself making analogies between the dystopian worlds I had in mind and Dubai: in my imagination the world I was about to enter was a fantastic, futuristic environment, the result of the man’s will to take control upon nature, which unbridled unconscious menacing fears. But there is not such thing like perfect utopian worlds where the bad sides are under control and conflicts can be constantly avoided; on the contrary, all along the history of humanity the ideal of a perfect world always led to devastating battles in the name of abstract values and conflicting ideologies.

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