The Future Does Not Have to Look Like the Present

This glowing sculpture captures a modest neighborhood at night, its windows glowing peacefully beneath rebar that sprouts like insane stick figures from the roofs. It's also a work of profoundly melancholy science fiction.

The Future Does Not Have to Look Like the Present

Called Qalandia 2087, it's artist Wafa Hourani's fantasy of a future version of the Palestinian refugee camp Qalandia.

In the New York Times, Holland Cotter writes:

In a fantastically detailed architectural model, Wafa Hourani gives the overcrowded Palestinian refugee camp Qalandia a utopian spin, imagining it in the future as a place of order and peace, with lamp-lit homes and sweet music wafting through the night. That future, of course, is a fantasy. Today, Qalandia is at a contested checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah where violent clashes flare.

That future may be a "fantasy," as Cotter asserts. But it doesn't have to be. You could also call it hope.

Read more about the "Here and Elsewhere" show at the New Museum in New York, where this sculpture appears, in the New York Times.