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Year 9 Students Create their own Dystopia

30 October 2014

Due to the current popularity of the genre in teen fiction, the English Department decided to give Year 9 the chance to more formally explore the dystopian genre and its origins. Head of English, Gemma Treeby, tells us about what they’ve been doing.

  • Year 9 at the British International School Shanghai, Puxi are awarded prizes for the best dystopian film

Utopia and dystopia are genres of fiction that explore social and political issues. Utopian fiction creates the ideal society, whereas dystopia is the creation of an utterly horrible or degraded society.

Year 9 have spent this unit on the dystopian genre, learning about more historic texts like ‘1984’ and ‘Animal Farm’ as well as texts that are right up to date such as ‘Hunger Games’ and ‘Divergent’. They explored themes, settings and characters and this culminated in a challenge for them to get into groups and independently film their own short dystopian short film or trailer.

Finalists were chosen from each class and these were then shown to the whole year who voted for their favourite.

Well done to the runners up Ezgi Turkmen, Kristen Amm and Lizzie White for their film, ‘Shallow Water’…

In the not too distant future, the division between the haves and the have-nots is defined by looks alone. Once young people reach maturity they are rated, those who fail to pass the rating are treated like slaves. However within this hopeless future two girls from opposite sides form an unlikely friendship and take on the system….

And congratulations to the winners Pauline Thibaut, Emma Andrick and Rebecca Jacobs, for ‘The Flare’…

In a terrifying future where human rights no longer exist, those in power have begun to experiment at will on humans in the lower classes of society. A young isolated girl from this sector is kidnapped, but manages to escape – unfortunately carrying the deadly contagion ‘The Flare’. In this vision of the future you don’t find the flare, it finds you…

- Gemma Treeby, Head of English


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