I had the opportunity to present this piece at the universities of Utrecht, Tübingen and Frankfurt, and I am grateful for all critical comments and suggestions I received. My special thanks go to my colleague Frank Schulze-Engler for his generosity in sharing his knowledge of Africa with me.


In this fictional fight, those acquainted with South Africa’s history of apartheid will find many ironic echoes: an interviewee’s wish to kill all aliens with a ‘selective virus;’ Wikus’ wholesale promotion of abortion in District 9 (once a fantasy of radical white Afrikaners); the ubiquitous boards prescribing segregation (see Figure 3); the MNU’s hypocritical justification for evicting aliens on humanitarian grounds; the fact that the alien language ...

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