Published by Taylor & Francis Online
Author: Christos Lynteris, Senior Research Associate/ ERC Principal Investigator, Visual Representations of the Third Plague Pandemic (2013 – 2018).
Concern over the “coming plague”, a projected microbiological catastrophe threatening the survival of humanity, has come to generate a new cinematic figure: the epidemiologist as culture hero. The visual narrative of the “coming plague” unfolds in recent films, where the biopolitical content of this symbolic form becomes clear. This article examines how, by merging fears regarding the next pandemic with apocalyptic fantasy, the films in question institute the epidemiologist as responsible for the re-pastoralization and re-pasteurization of humanity—a goal achieved by setting self-limitation of individual freedoms as the condition for the biological and ontological perseverance of humankind.