AHRC TECHNE funded doctoral student
Social Science Fiction the Alternative Reality
Kingston University, London
This PhD project asks can science fiction be used as tool to create a new genre and platform for representation of the feminine condition, by focusing on social science fiction as opposed to the more familiar 'space opera' of the typical sci-fi genre. The term “Social science fiction” (Asimov, 1982), uses mass media to encourage debates between the interaction of technology and society, often depicting an alternative dystopian future. Born out of 1930s pulp magazines and post-war period, this form of literature excites a moral response about the structure of society. Pioneers Swift, Huxley, and Orwell intertwine a common theme: revealing truths hidden deep within society, truths that have not been subject to a female perspective thus, placing the representation of women in the social sci-fi genre at the forefront of my approach. Taking inspiration from literary feminist science fiction and dystopian futures of Le Guin and Atwood, that alert us to the realities of the feminine condition but placed here in reality. The film practice will reveal and readdress the mis-representation of the female and the troublesome tendencies of the male perspective within the sci-fi genre, by exploring past works of fiction that have become a worrying reality and aspects of technology that embody the most dehumanising capitalist urges. Primary research undertaken in documentary form is an integral part of my methodology, and will inform a series of short drama films that reflect an authentic depiction of the women’s voice in the Sci- fi genre, using “quiet politics” of social issues - issues not sensationalised but which shape the world in which we live and provide a social and cultural dialogue. The films created will be set in the real world with an underlying truth, but within a “New Wave” Social Sci-Fi genre of its own that reflects our societal iniquities.