It’s fixed. It’s all fixed. Poverty, war, global warming, racism, sexism, injustice, inequality, competition, impoliteness. Everything. But humanity has gone much further than just that. Social interaction has been perfected to be as loving and friendly as it can be. People greet each other with a hug and a compliment. Almost every object’s been made inflatable so you can’t even stub your toe. Every citizen wears a white mask of make-up in order to create unity and it’s colored with a distinct design to let your identity be your choice. Not bound by gender, race or body features. You can be anybody you want to be and society will love and accept it. Because of the overflow of wealth, almost every job became obsolete so the people focus on helping each other. Without any real problems, all they can do is help celebrate themselves. Life revolves around parties, culture and creativity. Only a single word is left in the language to describe any form of negativity: “A little less nice”.
Citizens of Eurasia
Originally written and performed as a play, 2084 is a cartoony and exaggerated vision of the future aimed at teenagers and young adults. I imagine this outline as a 90-minute surreal film with lots of animation in the background. The script is filled with self-aware, light-hearted humor about the ridiculousness of it all. Many elements of how this society would function are intentionally left vague to leave room for imagination. What’s important, is that there is a central idea that’s easy to build on. The idea is to be the absolute opposite of the pessimistic and dystopian vision of the book 1984. What if, instead: The government was so well intentioned and friendly that it became uncomfortable? Could it be fair to complain about life being “too good”?
I inserted some pictures of the play as I designed the make-up and sets myself and was very involved with costumes, casting and props. I hope it helps to illustrate my vision.
Common face design
It’s Eniko’s weekly birthday. She’s woken up by her friends and family with a huge ceremony. A lot of effort has been put into the song and dance but it’s strangely awkward and clumsy. She forcefully but politely thanks them for all the compliments and presents. On a plateau, the group gleefully carries her to “work” where Eniko is employed as a colour-picker. The day begins the way it always does with boss giving every employee the standard peptalk. “We love you, you’re important, this job could never be done without you and if you experience even the slightest hint of something a little less nice, please reach out to me and we’ll do everything in our power to help you out.” But this day, Eniko decides to speaks out about her unhappiness. She feels that her life is empty, unchallenging and unreal but she doesn’t have the language to explain these feelings. The supervisor tries to help but doesn’t know how to answer and tells her to go to “Kira”. The god-like entity and queen of Eurasia.
Kira doesn’t seem to understand Eniko’s problem. She’s trying to be nice and understanding but Eniko won’t budge. Kira gives her a present that might convince her of life in Eurasia being worth it. Two tickets to Oceania. The last piece of the planet that’s been left to nature. A reminder of what life used to be before the human race perfected it. Eniko and her boyfriend travel to the jungle. When they get out of the pod, the boyfriend steps on a thorn. Physical pain is a new expierence for him and he starts crying out. Eniko enthousiasticly steps on it too and yells euphoricly: “I’ve never felt so… so… much!” As they continue to explore, Eniko sees a monkey, about to be eaten by a crocodile. She grabs a rock and kills the animal. Eniko feels like she’s truly achieved something by saving the monkey. Eager to tell the people about her experience, she hurries back to the pod.
Back in Eurasia she interupts a birthday to preach about her experience in Oceania. She pushes one of her friends to the ground which makes him drop all of his candy. Shocked, the citizens immideatly help and pick up the dropped items. “Didn’t it feel great that you actually, really, substantially helped him?” Some of the people agree and Eniko confidently rushes to Kira, hoping that she will understand and change her ways. The conversation quickly gets heated. Even Kira showing sings of doubt but after a long battle of wits, the talking ends in a tension filled silence. Eniko kills Kira.
Unfamiliar with the concept of murder, the naïve people of Eurasia quickly accept Eniko as their new leader. “What did Kira used to say again? Oh yeah! When it sounds good, it probably is good!” She starts mobalizing the crowd to save all of the animals in the Oceania jungle. It’s time for hierarchy and the people that don’t substantially help, will not be allowed to attend the party. Since the citizens know how to work together, the first day is a huge succes. But when it’s time for the party, tough choices need to be made. Turns out, Eniko’s own father did not do his work well enough to attend. She’s faced with a tough choice, but feels obliged to stick to her principles and doesn’t let him in.
The people who are left out gather at the accredited “loser plaza”. The atmoshpere at the party turns arrogant, people talking about how they are better than others. When Eniko’s father arrives at the plaza he wintesess them becoming aggressive. These emotions are new for the people and they confusingly start planning a contra-revolution against Eniko.
Eniko dreams of Kira and the people. It’s a surreal scene where the people are dragging each other around on the ground. They start walking towards Eniko. She reacts bewildered and sees Kira approaching her in the distance. She flies up to her and kisses her lightly. Eniko starts crying. She’s woken up by a call from her father and boyfriend. They beg her to turn her plans around. The film ends with a long slow motion take of the citizens fighting, Eniko moving through the chaos to a high place, where she puts on Kira’s dress. “I’m sorry”