Constructing African future.Africa and African people in Polish science fiction of the socialist era

Dariusz Brzostek


The paper's main objective is to analyze the visions of an African future in the Polish Socialist Era science fiction. Speculative fiction played an important part in the cultural landscape of socialist Poland, being integral to the popular culture as well as to communist propaganda. The image of a communist future was a major motif in the early Socialist Era science fiction narratives and also the impressive political forecast of the final worldwide triumph of the Communist Party. These narratives also included some interesting examples of the African future and the African people in the futuristic communist world: the Black communist  and  astronaut, Hannibal Smith, as the main character of The Astronauts (Astronauci, 1951) by Stanisław Lem; the African astronauts in The Magellanic Cloud (Obłok Magellana, 1955) by Stanisław Lem and the story of the African slaves’ rebelion against the capitalists on the space station „Celestia” in the novel by Krzysztof Boruń & Andrzej Trepka The Lost Future (Zagubiona przyszłość, 1953). Lem’s novels were also adapted into films:The Magellanic Cloud as The Voyage to the End of the Universe(Ikarie XB-1, 1963, directed by Jindřich Polák),The Astronautsas First Spaceship on Venus (Der schweigende Stern,1960, directed by Kurt Maetzig) – in which the Nigerian actor, Julius Ongewe, appeared as an very first African astronaut in the history of cinema.

Słowa kluczowe: Polish science fiction, Africa, foreign affairs, socialism, future

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