The Imminent Posthuman Future and the Terror of Voyeurism in Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror (2011 - )

Shalaby, Manal 


In today’s technology-driven world, voyeurism has extended beyond its sexual connotations to include acts of creating, reproducing and watching images for the purpose of assuming power or/and deriving pleasure. Voyeurism, as defined by Peter Keough, is “an urge to gaze at the alien and the intimate” (2), which alludes to Freud’s notion of the uncanny and, thus, renders the experience of viewing a multilayered psychological phenomenon incessantly aggravated by technological advances. In his dystopian TV series Black Mirror (2011), Charlie Brooker creates a near future in which humanism yields to a full-fledged culture of technological voyeurism that has already started to materialize in our present time. By writing this research paper, I will try to answer the question of ‘how the act of watching becomes an element of terror’ while examining the ways in which Brooker presents aspects of transitioning to the Posthuman from a humanistic point of view. The first section of my paper will trace the bases upon which virtual images are produced; the second will dwell upon the diminishing of human memory against digital memory and their roles in de/constructing the image of the past; and the third will explore the means by which viewing has transformed from a cathartic practice into an act of sadism.

Other data

Issue Date Jul-2016
Publisher Ain Shams University
Source Shalaby, Manal. “The Posthuman Future and the Terror of Voyeurism in Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror (2011- ).” Traveling Theories: Origins and Manifestations, 20-22 Mar. 2016, Cairo, Ain Shams U P, July 2016. 56-69. Print.
Conference Traveling Theories: Origins and Manifestations 

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