The Utopiales Festival

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Since the year 2000, La Cité Nantes Events Center has been the venue for the Utopiales, an international festival of science fiction. This event, the most important of Europe for Science Fiction, is open both to the general public and professionals. It combines literature, comic strips and the plastic arts.

During the 2012 EUROCITIES conference, delegates discovered the offbeat world of the Utopiales Festival, which took place simultaneously at La Cité Nantes Events Center.
This year’s theme was “Origin(s)”: a response to a world in crisis, which questions certainties and is looking for a new direction. Science fiction is a permanent invitation to open up imaginations and embrace the future, essential in time of crisis.

The festival featured conferences, debates and signing sessions, with numerous international guests including Robert Charles Wilson (Canada), Nancy Kress (United States), and Etienne Klein (France).The Mervyn Peake exhibition presented the works of the famous British illustrator, poet and writer. The Amazing Science exhibition was organised by the INSERM (the national medical research institute in France), and the CEA (National Atomic Energy Agency).The Utopiales Festival is also a must for fans of Japanese culture, with Cosplay parades and fashion shows, manga drawing and calligraphy workshops, and anime film screenings. Designers of the Japan Animation and Manga College were also present. All the Japanese activities and events taking place at the festival are supported by Nantes Métropole and the City of Niigata, Nantes’ sister city.