Budding futures

“In a perfect world, there is no future,” I read yesterday in Sansal Boualem’s novel 2084. An interesting statement. When we think about the future, we almost automatically think about change, about things that are not yet here. “When I grow up, I want to be a doctor.” “Our day will come.” “Maybe later.”

That the future may be different than the now gives us hope. Maybe in the future we find a way to distribute wealth in a more equal manner. Maybe in the future we will find a cure. Maybe in the future we will learn that war is not necessary.

If everything is already perfect, it is not necessary to think about the future. Nothing needs to be solved. No solutions need to be delegated to a realm that has not yet manifested.

In a perfect world, there is no future.

But can a world without a future be perfect? No future is no development. No chance to become better at anything. No chance to become a better person. No buds growing into flowers.

To me, looking at the photography of the blossoms of the papaya tree implies a future. Next week, more flowers will have opened. The week after the first flowers will drop to the ground. After a month, on a different tree, the papaya fruit will start to grow, pollinated by this flower.

A world without a future is unthinkable to me. Look at these flowers. Who wants a world without a future, even if it is a perfect world?

Author: johannekekroesbergen

I am an anthropologist of religion and photographer, currently living in Pretoria, South Africa. I wrote my PhD-thesis on narratives about Satanism in Zambia. Currently I am preparing a new research project that uses photography as an ethnographic method. In my free time, I love hiking, safaris and enjoying nature through photography.

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