Luíza Bastos Lages Wins Second Place Enterprise Poets Prize for Imagining a Future

Luíza Bastos Lages, Fictional Landscapes. Film still.

ACT Graduate Student Luíza Bastos Lages (SMACT ’20 candidate) won second place in the Enterprise Poets Prize for Imagining a Future, a part of the IIona Karmel Writing Prizes.

The Ilona Karmel Writing Prizes are awarded every May by MIT’s Comparative Media Studies/Writing program. This competition was named in honor of the late Ilona Karmel, novelist, poet, and Senior Lecturer in the writing program. Throughout her teaching career, Karmel’s outstanding contributions to creative writing at MIT were her inspirational teaching and relationships with students.

Enterprise Poets Prize for Imagining a Future is open to MIT graduate and undergraduate student essays, short stories or poems, that convincingly imagine a future human enterprise are eligible. The word enterprise is used in the broadest possible sense to cover products, processes, companies, industries, forms of government, social movements, artistic forms – any human endeavor.

Bastos’ video and essay project, Fictional Landscapes,” tied for the second place prize. The video, and an excerpt from her award winning essay, are below:

Fictional Landscapes Video


Here, the landscape is understood as a cultural product, as a result of the build-up of layers of natural action and human interference. It is understood that the landscape is created by the continuous overlapping and blending of natural and social existences, besides corresponding to a mental construct, somewhat from the imaginary that integrates a collective memory. However, despite being frequently associated with a scenic ideal, the landscape is not reduced to the myth of untouched nature. From human intervention, it also corresponds to various facets of a post-industrial society, which encompasses from narrow dirt trails cutting a wooded hill, up to productive landscapes, transformed by industrial complexes (CORTEZÃO). The possibilities for the sensitive apprehension of the landscape, therefore, are not reduced to the traditional picturesque or idyllic, which is often insisted by common sense. The modified Earth surface is the ever-contemporary morphology of the world, which makes, from the western standards of civilization, its own natural idealism resound as purely ideal.

Full text here.