Astrid Erll

From ‘District Six’ to District 9 and Back: The Plurimedial Production of Travelling Schemata

Aliens in Johannesburg: ‘District Six’ in international cinemas

In the year 1982, an alien spaceship appears over the South African city of Johannesburg. The extra-terrestrials are in a state of utter destitution, many of them dead, sick, or malnourished, and obviously unable to find their way home again.1 A camp is set up for these aliens just outside Johannesburg: District 9. In the decades that follow, the camp deteriorates into a slum area, ripe with violence, drug-abuse and inter-species prostitution. Because of their crustacean-like appearance, the aliens are derogatorily called ‘prawns,’ and all humans in Johannesburg seem to agree ...

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