- Breeding unity: Battlestar Galactica’s biracial reproductive futurity
- Camera Obscura
- Volume | Issue number
- 27 | 3 (81)
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
While Battlestar Galactica reinvigorated the science fiction genre by representing contemporary political problems in a complex, often radical fashion, the series also makes visible a new articulation of eugenic thinking. Postmodern eugenics repurposes turn-of-the 20th century ideas of racial progress and recombines them with different narratives and ideologies so that audiences may receive them as new and cut off from history. By centering its finale on the survival of one genetically idealized child, Battlestar constructs a new narrative context for an old story that rationalizes the sacrifice of the non-heterosexual, non-reproductive, and non-conformist to build a "better" race. The idealization of biraciality in Battlestar puts eugenic means to modern ends: the biological construction a future wherein difference can be dealt with in reproductive rather than political terms. Two pieces of fan video art, "Unnatural Selection" and "Battlestar Redactica," clarify Battlestar’s complicity in eugenic violence and history, while offering alternative solutions to the series’ moral and narrative impasses. By refusing the genetic stasis Battlestar proposes, these fan video projects invite audiences to continue exploring multiple definitions of survival, hybridity, and cultural transformation, reanimating characters sacrificed in the series on its way to genetic utopia (or dystopia) and thereby resuscitating the multiple, queer, contradictory futures they embodied.
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