Palestine 2048 in Inertia: False Utopias, A Dwindling Nation, and the Last Palestinian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This essay proposes to discuss how the recent turn to the futuristic in a selection of Palestinian science fiction works assumes a fatalistic tenor in that it expresses the inability and unwillingness of Palestinian imagination to move forward and confront the prospects of what seems to be inevitable epistemic erasure. The act of imagining fictional futures seemingly suspends the coming of the actual future that does not offer tenable conditions for Palestinian continuation. The essay brings together Larissa Sansour’s sci-fi short film trilogy–A Space Exodus (2008), Nation Estate (2013), and In the Future They Ate from the Finest Porcelain (2015)–and a selection of short stories from the recent sci-fi collection Palestine +100 edited by Basma Ghalayini. The aim is to demonstrate how the suspension of temporal progression in Palestinian imaginings structures futuristic configurations of three more or less familiar Palestinian tropes: (1) the utopic call for liberating Palestine “from the river to the sea”; (2) the dystopic implications of the (conceptual and territorial) shrinking space of a vanishing nation; and (3) continuation in the aftermath of the Palestinian apocalypse. To imagine in the cataclysmic present moment, I argue, epistemically asserts the existence of Palestine and, consequently, wards off the prospects of nonbeing as the possibility of statehood is steadily dwindling.

Original languageEnglish
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Dystopia
  • Palestinian science fiction
  • futurism
  • nationalism
  • space
  • utopia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Anthropology


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