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Up Above

Ariane Merle d’Aubigné and Jean Maleyrat

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Up Above



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Project Description

Third Prize, Fairy Tales 2017 Competition

"This Article applies to any inhabited structure with a low floor above 70 meters from the earth’s ground.

Houses falling into this category are considered to belong to the SkyIsland domain. Therefore, they respond to other laws, tax system and building standards than those that govern the rest of the country."
-Landisland, Art. 61.2

I'm Lucy. I had to escape the earth ground to take refuge in the clouds.

This exodus comes from the radical changes of policy led by the Landisland government. This includes changes in the fiscal austerity policies that we have to face, and the increasingly numerous and contradictory standards that govern our society.

I could not pay my house anymore, so I went to an unoccupied shelter in the clouds. We rather went up. Because there is no turning back possible and it is in the name of the survival of all my family that I had to make this choice.

The first man who created his own house in Skyland was John Moore. He is known to be a crazy creator and a famous architect.

The people smuggler took the last money we had. We arrived at Skyland with nothing. Fortunately, the community of Skyland lives frugally and we can support ourselves by meeting our needs. The notion of the accumulation of money that upset and undermined our system (which seemed so solid to everyone) does not exist here. For the simple reason that there is no currency, the whole society operates in barter and simple exchanges within the community. Everyone produces what he is in the ability to produce, or offers the services he can render to the members of the community. It is a rather disparate community like hills hidden between the clouds.

Each of our housing is subjected to the harshness of the weather almost daily during the most
difficult weather.

My House is a small and very functional house and the Earth seems very distant from our windows. The house can be confined in an inflatable bubble to protect its occupants during storms, which can be very violent at this altitude. This protective bubble facing the elements, would also allow us to protect ourselves if the community undergoes a new bacteriological attack. This seems to be a mode of attack that is spreading more and more.

Our zeppelin is parked under the house and allows us to move very easily. The children go to school thanks to the zepplin bus that passes every morning.

And below the garage of the zepplin, I had a greenhouse built. This greenhouse gives us a lot of work every day but allows us to be self-sufficient in vegetables. In addition to being advantageous, this production is completely organic. When our production exceeds our needs, we can share it with other members of the community, which is very rewarding.

What I miss most about my life on earth are the works of art I was going to see, revisit or discover almost daily at the time. Sometimes I think I see my reality through the works of my favorite painters, Caspar David Friedrich, Edward Hopper, Pyke Koch and Philips Koninck. These moments of illusion are comforting. Recently, I began to paint paintings that particularly affected me, adding elements of our new way of life.

Here is our situation, it is neither enviable nor envied, the poor and the miserable people are above, among the clouds now. The wealthy forced us to move. This gentrification took place at almost the point of rupture of our terrestrial system, the polluted soils resulted from a policy of privatization of land and famine for the survival of the species, they said.

10 billion inhabitants can’t live on earth. Organized or unorganized riots and civil wars have only decimated the proletarians. And from that moment, some anarchists, outside of any system, have seen this legislative flaw.

Few people have our way of life, but we are spared from the conflict and radicalization on the surface of the earth. We can’t be part of the rich ghetto so we escape from the surface of the earth. Because of no public space, the Earth, no longer feeds us. Our planet benefactor is now the sun; It provides us energy and grows our meager crops. We cut off all contacts with the landowners voluntarily because we no longer want violence and politics of oppression. Here, what matters is ultra-communitarianism, at a family and limited community scale.

We are not building a civilization, we are outside the earth, not yet dead but already in the sky. Survival is our religion.

Of course, there are the smugglers, former legionaries, they take all the risks to pass from one world to the other. In exchange the energy, we abound they bring us food that we can’t find here. Deficiencies, diseases are numerous up there, and medical drugs are rare.

We build nothing, everything is ephemeral, as proof, the collapse and death of an entire family during the last storm, our frail feet, our piles are our life line and unfortunately the neighbours had not consolidated enough their feet.

They have all disappeared in an instant, without body, without matter, it is the void that serves as the object of mourning.

The richness of a world like heaven is matter. We are surrounded by the lightness of air and emptiness, and man can survive in an element like this, but his protection comes from the mass. The rich and high castes of the sky are those who manage to keep the stone or the earth on their platforms more than 100 m from the ground. Here the rich are the maraichers.

The scale of values has changed.

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