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Frequently Asked Questions

📑Table of Contents

This is the Epoch of Rest #

These stories are about good places and people. They take place in a fictional state called Vekllei, which is an Atlantic country that does not use money. The point of this project is to take the purity of that idea seriously, and immerse a place of wonder in the real world.

So this is Utopia,
Is it? Well —
I beg your pardon;
I thought it was Hell.

– Max Beerbohm

‘Immersing’ something in the real world means things get dirty, break, and fall apart. A utopia doesn’t have to be perfect, but it should be an authentic ‘social dream’. This style of world-building is called utopie concrète, and is the way Vekllei is built.

I define the broad, general phenomenon of utopianism as social dreaming – the dreams and nightmares that concern the ways in which groups of people arrange their lives and which usually envision a radically different society than the one in which the dreamers live. But not all are radical, for some people at any time dream of something basically familiar.

– Lyman Sargent 1

That’s the gist of it. Vekllei is a fictional country that demonstrates good things through drawing and writing about it. It’s part-escapism, part-fantasy, and all good.

This website is a comprehensive archive and open notebook for the stories of Vekllei and its people.

Studio MillMint

What is Vekllei? #

✿ Main article: Vekllei

No differently will the world one day appear, almost unchanged, in its constant feast-day light, when it stands no longer under the law of labour, and when for homecomers duty has the lightness of holiday play.

–Theodor Adorno, Minima Moralia

Vekllei (pronounced ‘Veck-lie,’ or /vƐk.laɪ/) is an island country set in what we know as Iceland. Vekllei is its own country, and does not look or feel like Iceland. It has unique cultures, ethnicites, and landscapes. It is an old country, having been settled for thousands of years by native Algic peoples and Scandinavians. It is also a new county, having suffered a nuclear attack at the beginning of the 21st Century which extinguished much of its old civil society.

By the mid-21st century, Vekllei has become a remarkable place. Quality of life is excellent and living there is unlike living anywhere else on Earth. The country is an ambitious expression of alternate modes of thinking, visible in every aspect of society, from its bizarre moneyless economy to its complicated cultural and religious metaphysics.

Here are some quick facts about Vekllei and the state of the world in the mid-21st Century.

  • Vekllei takes place in a fictional retrofuture, where some technologies have advanced in different ways. Most computers in Vekllei are centralised, connected to via terminals. In this sense, they are both more and less advanced than contemporary personal computing. In other technologies, like aerospace, the world is undeniably more advanced.
  • Vekllei’s future retains the cold war from the previous century. The U.S.S.R. stiill exists, as do emerging political divisions across Europe, Africa, South America and Asia.
  • Vekllei’s future remains heavily influenced by midcentury modernist styles.
  • Although Vekllei’s unique history has influenced its region for thousands of years, most major diversions from our own timeline occur shortly after the Second World War.

So get going. This website is an open notebook of the thing I love. If you like world-building, art, and strange corners of the web, you’ll find something to like here.

Why Utopia? #

Vekllei is a jumble of very pure, obsessive instincts that are illustrated to make them look and feel real. I want to take purity seriously by considering its implications in the real world. Vekllei does not use money – a very straightforward and fantastical idea. Of course, moneylessness has extraordinary implications, and to maintain the purity of the idea we have to work very hard.

Simplicity is actually very complicated, and so Vekllei is very complicated to justify the simplicity. It’s filled with things I value and people I admire. You’ll find hundreds of posts and many articles on this site, and all of them are designed to make this place and its people feel real.

Just a few things to keep in mind:

  • This place is iterative – canon disappears, people change appearance and the systems of Vekllei twist and turn as I do.
  • This place is good-spirited – Vekllei is escapism, and although the dark accompanies the light, this project is supposed to be escapist and fun.
  • This place is constantly expanding – I try out new styles, mediums and methods of distribution all the time. Some of them work, some of them don’t. That’s part of the fun of it!

In addition:

  • Vekllei is a utopia, but that doesn’t mean I don’t take it seriously or consider its society pragmatically.
  • It’s full of stuff I love, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Personal growth can come from bad experiences.
  • I draw in certain styles, but Vekllei isn’t based off any one country.
  • Vekllei is mostly self-contained stories, but I experiment with mediums and methods all the time.

F.A.Q. #

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are you? #

A Tasmanian illustrator.

Why is Vekllei a utopia? #

It makes me feel better about my life and the world. It’s escapism; it’s a dream.

It’s a bit cringe to grandstand your political beliefs, doncha think? #

Vekllei is a personal utopia. That’s what I’m selling. At least you’re getting good opinions.

Where’s the tension if it’s perfect? #

Vekllei can be cynical and tragic in places. Utopia is more than just idealistic fantasy, and can contain bad things.

Is there a novel? A story? A comic? #

I’m working on a comic right now. I’m pretty much working on Vekllei full-time so I’m hoping to announce it soon. I’ve got a lot of different Vekllei projects going.

Where is Vekllei? #


Is your alt-history thought out? #

Vekllei’s history is whatever I need it to be. I’m always trying to be realistic, but it’s all worked backwards from the setting. I’m not really “world-building” in the way some might understand it. Very little of it is published, most of it is retrieved on request. Just ask if you have questions.

Why does Vekllei call itself “petticoat socialist”? #

Vekllei is set in a culture of Marxist revivalism in the 50s and 60s. A lot of Vekllei’s lexicon is set in that context. Vekllei is a decentralised democracy that doesn’t use money. It’s a sort of participatory economy. It’s almost anarchic in that sense.

Why the “petticoat”? #

Vekllei is a female country. Womanhood is decommodified. It’s maternal, social and friendly where progressive utopian rhetoric is masculine, technocratic and historicist.

Who is Zelda? #

Zelda is another name for Tzipora. She has two names specifically to confuse you.

Join the Patreon.

Join the Discord.

Be “petticoat”.

Futher Reading #

For those curious about what sort of things go into a place like Vekllei, these are some of my favourite books. I’ve been asked about them before, so I’ve included this section in the hopes you enjoy them as much as I have. There are many more than these, so if you’re interested, contact me. I’ll update this list periodically as more occur to me.

On the Origins of Modern Japanese Literature

Karatani Kojin | 1993

Karatani interrogates the appearance of Western conceptual artefacts (Landscape, The Child, Interiority) during the Meiji period in Japan. This book had a tremendous impact on my assumptions about the world and affected Vekllei tremendously.

Starting Point & Turning Point

Miyazaki Hayao | 2009 & 2014

These books are essentially a compilation of essays from Miyazaki’s years as a filmmaker. He’s an incredibly smart and insightful creative force whose work I have written at length about before. For me, it’s all really powerful, affecting stuff.

Three Faces of Utopianism Revisited

Lyman Sargent | 1994

This is the defining taxonomical look at the phenomena of utopianism and how it works. His breakdown of ‘utopia’ into both dystopian and eutopian elements is also my preffered descriptor and use of ‘utopia’ as a concept.

Towards a New Architecture

Le Corbusier | 1936

Vekllei is a postmodern mess, but also deeply sympathetic to the modernist instinct. I like the utopianism of the 20th Century, and Le Corbusier typifies that ‘utopian’ futurism we saw in that period. I like how single-minded he is about it. His buildings remain beautiful, many years on.

  1. Sargent, L.T., 1994. The Three Faces of Utopianism Revisited. Utopian studies, 5(1), p.3. ↩︎