Escaping the daily grind has been imagined as a universal ideal cemented by Marxist texts and Lotto ads promising the perpetual bliss of kicking back in the Bahamas with an endless supply of mojitos (after telling the boss where to shove it). Yet in reality, long-term respite would likely meet similar restlessness to that experienced by the many retirees who return to the workforce as mentors or take up volunteering (although the proposed respite fatigue may be obscured by a perpetual hangover). When it comes to escape, less is more – and not just because, by definition, escape is made possible by a dominant opposite. I’m reminded of philosopher Henri Lefebvre, whose La production de l’espace celebrates worlds within and around the phenomenal architecture we ostensibly occupy. We may realise exciting new worlds within the familiar according to Lefebvre, who conceives of space belonging to three spheres and proposes ‘defetishising’ it to change the perception of it from inert and predetermined to alive and dynamic and produced through everyday experience.
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