Hope, dystopian futures and Covid-19 as the ‘event’ that changed the world (forever?)
Film and series writers have for some time have projected imaginative yet sometimes quite real possible end-of-the-world scenarios. The evolution of blockbuster science-fiction films from the mid-20th century onwards initially generated scenarios related to threats to humanity from alien invasions. Then, towards the 1990s and at the turn of the 21st century, there emerged climate-related catastrophes, impending meteorite or asteroid collisions, bio-attacks as well as the general collapse of politics, law and order and revision of social life on earth into some perpetual violent and hostile land. In the same vein, other possible futuristic apocalypses have also been depicted through the inception of ‘unknown’ and ‘fatal’ viruses which all but wipe out humanity save one brave hero or heroine who takes it upon themselves to rescue the future from the past: somehow, however, averting the crisis and the world is saved. In many of these films, the devastation left on the planet inevitably resets humanity and in the aftermath the dawn of a new future is left in the responsible hands of a few survivors. All the while, only ‘hope’ somehow got them through. Using such portrayals of end-of-world scenarios and dystopian future films and series as possible avenues for our potential trajectory and different conceptions of ‘hope’, this paper speculates about our future in a post-Covid world using aspects of Žižek’s critical discussions on hope and hopelessness (2018) and Tom Moylan’s (2020) concept of the ‘dystopian structure of feeling’.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Daniel Briggs
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