When asked to write a nonfiction piece for Meanjin’s 80th year, I welcomed the chance to finally channel my inner futurist. I began to imagine what Australia could look like in 80 years. Then I remembered how much I like to write about the past. So I envisioned an essay that looks back and forwards. And then I went to see a movie at the cinema.
Meanjin was born in Meanjin (Brisbane) in 1940, before relocating to Melbourne five years later. I wasn’t alive then, and I won’t be here 80 years into the future. In 2100, I could possibly have yet-unborn descendants. If so, what will life be like for them? In what condition is the world they’ll inherit? Did we leave any hope among the rubble? Shifting through the stark realism that is 2020, is it possible to envision 80 years from now with even a shard of optimism? By then, would optimism have become even more of a luxury that few can afford?
Embrace Australia’s finest writers: subscribe to Meanjin
Subscriptions start at just $5 a month — which goes directly towards our writers’ fees.