Notes from Atopia

Welcome to the digital experience for Notes from Atopia, a workshop by the 4Cs – From Conflict to Conviviality through Creativity and Culture.

This experience requires approximately one hour of your time and the following items:

– A pen, pencil or something to draw with
– Paper for drawing
– Journal for writing
– Scissors and glue/tape
– Phone (on Airplane mode) for recording and photography
– Glass of water or tea
– A private space to work where you can view the screen and listen to the audio.

What is Notes from Atopia?

How to approach the below processes

Each video provides guidance and instructions on how to complete the exercises. After each video, an explanation of the outcomes to keep in mind and clarification of some frequently asked questions are also given.

Listen to each video and complete the exercises. Pause the video as required and use your phone timer for the exercises.

If you would like to keep the background music going during your own making, you can use THIS link.

The focus is on being present, mindful and with the feeling and sensations that draw your attention in the moment. That is, try not to get ‘carried away’ with a separate idea or thought that may form whilst doing an exercise, but to keep returning to what the exercise is asking you to focus on.

1 – Introduction and finding your artefact


You will have found an artefact that feels connected to your experience of COVID19 restrictions.
The artefact will be in the form of an object, memory, text or image.
The artefact will have been found in your house, or in your existing archive of images or texts.

2 – Key words and making your representation


You will have written a section of text about your artefact (3 mins).
You will have circled key words from that text.
You will have created a visual or poetic representation about how the words make you feel in relation to your original artefact.

NOTE: Please do not use the internet to find images for the representation. This should be done either through writing, drawing or collage in your notebook/paper, physically by altering the object or with your body, or with an image or video taken on your phone.

3 – A dialogue with your representation

– What are you?
– Is there anything you want me to know?
– Is there something you wish for others to know?
– Why are you here now?


You will have had a dialogue with your representation and written down what is meaningful to you.

4 – Interview

Note: In this video, questions will appear on the screen after the narration.


You will have answered the following questions:

– Looking at your object or representation, what have you come to know about your experience of COVID19 restrictions? Were there any significant moments? What might they mean?

– If a situation of existential threat occurred again, what would you wish for your future self to know? Think 5-10 years into the future, what would you tell yourself?

– Do you think ‘utopia’ is possible? If so, how would you know it was arriving? This could be personal or collective.

5 – Thank you and submission


You will have chosen the items you wish to submit to the archive.

You can choose these items based on what you wish to share publicly about your findings or insights, or what you believe is important for us to store in our collective memory as we enter this phase of societal shift. You might also like to think about what you will wish to store in the archive for the purposes of your future self – a note, a reminder, or a word of advice.

‘What can I do with my representation now?’
Some people like to keep their representation in their home or work space as a reminder of what it signifies. Others like to take a photograph and use it as the background on their phone – a simple daily reminder of its meaning or beauty. What you do with this representation is completely up to you, but I ask that you treat it mindfully. If the purpose it has served is complete, take it apart and dispose of it consciously. If it is still alive and asking for interaction, place it somewhere that it can remain safely until you are ready to attend to it again. Whatever the case, complete your interaction with the same sense of presence that you have maintained up until this point. Let it act as closure to the process.

6 – How to submit

Please send your submissions for the archive to Ensure that you note whether your submission is to be published as anonymous or under your name. You will be notified when the digital archive is live later this year.


Notes from Atopia has been commissioned by the 4Cs Project – From Conflict to Conviviality through Creativity and Culture, a European Cooperation Project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. The 4Cs seeks to understand how training and education in art and culture can constitute powerful resources to address the issue of conflict as well as to envision creative ways in which to deal with conflictual phenomena, while contributing to audience development through active participation and co-production. The project aims at advancing the conceptual framework of intercultural dialogue and enhancing the role of public arts and cultural institutions in fostering togetherness through cultural diversity and intercultural encounters.

If you would like any comments communicated to Nithya Iyer personally, please use the form below.