First Chapter of Dan Hancox's Village Against The World up on Design Observer

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The first chapter of Dan Hancox's The Village Against the World is now available on Design Observer's website. Beautiful pictures of Marinaleda and its inhabitants accompany the text. Hancox's recently released book begins by challenging current attitudes toward the term "utopia":

For as long as human beings have dreamed, they have dreamed of creating a better world. We’ll soon mark the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s Utopia, his short book describing a fictional island whose name in Greek means “no place.” We are used to utopia as an imagined world or an idealized vision of the future, an abstract intellectual exercise rather than a concrete attempt to forge a new community. But what if you actually tried to build utopia? 

But in one small village in Andalusia’s wild heart, there lies stability and order. Like Asterix’s village impossibly holding out against the Romans, in this tiny pueblo a great empire has met its match, a ragtag army of boisterous upstarts yearning for liberty. The bout seems almost laughably unfair — Marinaleda’s population of 2,700 vs. Spain’s 47 million — and yet the empire has lost, time and time again.

Visit Design Observer to read the essay in full (and admire the pictures).

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