Uthiopië [Uthiopia], 2023.
Uthiopia, 2023. Oil and aluminium on linen, 1220x1220mm.
Utopia [Greek: juːˈtəʊpɪə]: is an imagined place, state or design where – according to the architect(s) thereof – everything is perfect. It is still encountered in many parts of the world in different formats, designs of state and cultures. Utopia as concept was coined by Thomas More in his book Utopia (De optimo reipublicae statu deque nova insula utopia, 1516). He describes the fictional island of Utopia and designs a social, military and state structure for the ‘country’.
During antiquity the designation of ‘Ethiopia’ was loosely applied to indicate all countries south of Egypt. Recent research exposed the presence of Ethiopia in More’s publications and theorists such as the Ethiopian academic Mengisto Debele that is of the opinion that More actually meant Ethiopia with his Utopia. Debele is further convinced that European interpretations of More diminish and reduce the content of his works to a white European perspective that confuses non-Europeans. The word ‘Uthiopia’’ (Ethiopia + Utopia) has been created by Ethiopian researchers since.
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