10 utopian cities in the cinema : a reading of power representations through urban form and color symbolism

Coser, Mariana Calchi and Monteiro, Evando Ziggiatti (2022) 10 utopian cities in the cinema : a reading of power representations through urban form and color symbolism. In: XXVIII International Seminar on Urban Form - "Urban Form and the Sustainable and Prosperous City", 2021-06-29 - 2021-07-03, University of Strathclyde.

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When someone thinks about the future of cities and urban forms, it’s intuitive to imagine a situation of an ideal and utopian place; or even another extreme, a dystopian condition. These landscapes that come to mind are often creations of cinematography, which, in general, expose issues of nostalgia to the obsolete past compared to technological development. From this, the typical power relationship represented in the works is evident while watching dystopian films: who dominates and who is dominated. Thus, this is why such duality - materialized by Foucault’s panopticon (1975) by exerting power effects - ends up essentially linked to spatial/ territorial issues, since, “there is no space touched by human beings, on the surface of the planet, that do not denote any strategy for occupying the territory. [...] Hence the proximity of cities and urbanism, with power” (MONTEIRO, 2017, p. 27). Thus, the research starts from the observation that futuristic cinema uses its artistic freedom to create and illustrate utopian urban planning. Thereby, it’s proposed to validate whether such urban illustrations follow the aforementioned discussion, in which urban forms have a political character, being “indicators of concentrated or dispersed powers” (MONTEIRO, 2017, p. 28). So, the relations of concentrated power with planned shapes, and of dispersed power with the community strategy idealized by Monteiro (2017) are the guiding axis of the research, while using the traditional city patterns of Kostof (1991) as a basis.

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