Published in 1937, twelve years before Orwell’s 1984, this novel projects a totally male-controlled fascist world that has eliminated women as we know them. They are breeders, kept as cattle, while men in this post-Hitlerian world are embittered automatons, fearful of all feelings, having abolished all history, education, creativity, books, and art. Not even the memory of culture remains. The plot centers on a “misfit” who asks, as readers must, “How could this have happenned?” Ann J. Lane calls the novel a “brilliant, chilling dystopia.” “This is a powerful, haunting vision of the inner and outer worlds of male violence.”-Blanche Wiesen Cook.

Feminist Dystopias Reading Group  

Reading Group, Thursday 26/4 18:00-20:00
Reading Group, Wednesday 2/5 18:00-20:00

Many love a good dystopian novel, as it can feed our disquiet, settle our fears or just make us aware that any of the current dystopian possibilites, known or unknown, can manifest themselves IRL, crossing the treshhold from fiction into someone’s reality.

During the Babels Rehab exhibition, Skånes konstförening will host two Reading Group meetings, both focused on the futuristic novel Swastika Night, first published in 1937 by Katharine Burdekin under the pseudonym Murray Constantine. Written a few years before the beginning of the Second World War, the classical and hopeless dystopia in Swastika Night imagines a world, 700 years into the future, in which all traces of history and memory were removed by the new warrior religion of Nazi God the Thunderer and women’s role is reduced to their reproductive function.  

Each of the two meetings will include discussions and various interactive elements – such as word puzzles, games, fill in the blanks exercises. The reading material, as the meetings themselves, will be in English. Please read the novel before attending the meetings.

In order to attend the meetings of the Reading Group, follow its dedicated Facebook event – and write us an email to – this is important because we will send you the reading material via email. Please include the words Reading Group in the title of your message.

Each person, by the total of their lived and imagined experiences, interprets dystopias differently. We welcome everybody who has an interest or wants to discover dystopian texts, feminist and/or queer science fiction and their political references to present day lives.

Over the year the Reading Group will continue to meet, read or re-read many other authors, such as Octavia E. Butler, Louise Erdrich, Margaret Atwood, Nicola Griffith, Nnedi Okorafor or James Tiptree Jr, etc.

Skånes konstförenings public program and exhibitions are presented with support from Region Skåne, Malmö Stad, Swedish Arts Council and ABF.