flash fiction - Introduction

What does home mean to you? What could one’s ‘home’ look and feel like in the years to come? To what extent can we influence, shape, and create the spaces we need to flourish individually and collectively? Who sets the rules? Are we free to organise our lives as we truly wish or are we passive ‘extras and mere ‘followers’ simply populating others’ visions?

It’s ‘windy’ in the world and ever since the dawn of time human beings have taken shelter and tried to built a nest, a home, to protect themselves from the elements, to find comfort and refuge, to go about their daily tasks, to develop, start families, live and die. From a cave or a natural retreat to humble quarters, suburban flats, cottages, villas, castles or fancy bungalows, the places and spaces we spend our lives in have been vital to our evolution and growth, shaping us and affecting our walks of life, our personal development, our decisions, our dreams.

As actors of change, we invite you, the students of the University of Innsbruck, to summon your powers of creativity and submit flash fiction in six different languages exploring the concept of ‘home’ and ‘living’. Drawing from your discipline and your field of studies, past practices and current developments, you are invited to imagine the future of living, working and learning and, in particular, the spaces or spheres you want to see yourselves in in the not-too-distant future.

In our fast-changing globalised world and in the face of the current social, economic and environmental challenges, we need to rethink how to design, built, finance and share our homes. Can you dream up new alternative spaces where people can flourish and live in sustainable, peaceful communities? Place your protagonists in any space you can dream of: from modular neighbourhoods to vertical villages, from fluid spaces to underground or floating abodes. Tell the stories of our future living, working and learning. This is a chance to create positive narratives that can excite the readers’ imagination, appeal to the senses and encourage a new frame of mind and a positive outlook on life. Make your mark with a unique, arresting short story that can trigger changes for the better.

Experiment with different ideas and concepts and place your protagonists in real, imaginary or virtual future spaces. Rearrange the pieces of the puzzle and create your own narratives in visionary spaces or stages where our future lives will unfold. Look at the different elements that have an effect on each other and can influence our personal development, our relationships and our society as a whole. Take a look at the interplay and the dynamics involved. Could just one element, one individual make a change?

Play with words as tools of creation in the language of your choice and come up with positive narratives that hit home!

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