The Utopian/Dystopian American Dream: Immigration and Labor in Latina/o Science Fiction

Erasure of Historical and Cultural Memories

In Lunar Braceros 2125-2148, the 22nd century depicts a different type of labor but many of the dystopian elements are still present. Lydia engages in a type of labor that perpetuates the dystopia of her present reality. When Lydia is forced to perform a job with the government as part of her prison sentence, she quickly learns that she is simply a tool in the nation-state’s erasure of historical and cultural memory. Lydia describes her task of “purging” memory and data from government archives as a kind of state-sponsored historical revisionism:

One [project] involved purging memory on all digitized materials that were publicly accessible. This called for revising historical accounts not favorable to the Cali-Texas government…huge processing centers or labs were established in Mexico and Central America to purge data banks, blogs, and even private accounts. (Pita and Sánchez 38)

Therefore, Lydia is forced into a labor market that forces her to erase part of the government’s history in order to conceal any corruption committed in the past that they want hidden from the public. However, Lydia’s role in assisting the government is paradoxical in nature. Although she is purging and revising historical content that the Cali-Texas government does not want the public to discover, she represents this “public” that they are denying information to. In this case, Lydia’s labor adds to the dystopic realities of people like her living on the margins – and she is an accomplice to the government’s agenda by purging the archives in order to survive and make a living for herself. Therefore, the utopian dream for the government is to produce a narrative untarnished by all of the corruption they have committed against others. They hope to clean the slate so that they may represent the perfect utopia. This signifies the government and corporations’ hope to continue the “purging” of unwanted memories by displacing those on Earth onto the moon colonies. 

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