Basura del mundo: cambio social, distopía y consumo en las novelas futuristas Waslala y Zombie, La
María Losada-CarballaresColorado State University. Libraries, 2015
The yearning to find utopia is a feeling shared by humanity for centuries. Science fiction and futuristic novels –such as Waslala, memorial del futuro by Gioconda Belli and Zombie by Mike Wilson- have been some of the most prominent literary genres to portray that longing. However, most of the novels focus their narrative on dystopias. Both Waslala and Zombie use dystopian elements to portray the present –or past- with the goal of making dystopias disappear in the future. In this essay, the intent is to analyze the representation of dystopia in these futuristic novels, as well as to show how some characters have the ability to build micro-utopias in unfavorable surroundings. Firstly, I will explain why I do not consider Waslala and Zombie to be science fiction novels –a genre in which science and technology are the main elements that maintain the narrative- and are futuristic novels instead. I will also explore the motivation of finding a utopia. In Waslala it starts with the construction of a Latin American identity, as well as with the elimination of impositions from the North and from local dictatorships. In Zombie, on the other hand, some characters are able to build their own utopias thanks to the perception of what surrounds them. However, the depiction of dystopias is what characterizes both novels, especially through the imposition of northern capitalism on the Global South. Consumerism stands out among those capitalist impositions; Wilson criticizes it through the figure of the zombie and Belli denounces it through the representation of Engracia’s landfill, for consumerism produces large amounts of garbage, which is sent to the Global South to secure the North’s comfort. The authors are therefore providing a social critique, and also appeal to the readers to change their current situation and behavior.