Surrogacy on Stage. Theater, Movies and Documentaries about Assisted Reproduction, Kinship and (be)longings

Abstract

During the last decades, India has become a popular destination for fertility tourism and a growing number of Indian fertility clinics offer treatments and surrogacy services to both Indian and Western customers at prices very competitive to a Western marked. Also artists, theater- and film producers have taken interest in the complex phenomena. This paper will focus on tv-documentaries as Google Baby (Israel 2009) and Made in India (USA 2010), both presenting Westerners going to India for surrogacy services, Scandinavian stage plays ("Global Stories", Sweden 2012; Mor for enhver pris, Norway 2012), and Bollywood movies dealing with surrogacy (e.g. Filhaal 2001, Chori Chori Chupke Chupke 2007).
Although these are works produced in different cultural settings and with different positions in the distinction between fiction and non-fiction, I will point out how they in many cases refer to each other as actors and narratives circulate internationally on various media platforms. I argue that they communicate within a neoliberal context of understanding, where human beings increasingly take individual responsibility and action towards their life; in the area of infertility problems and treatments, children as well as reproductive material and wombs have become objects with economic value on a global marked. At the same time imaginings and formations of kinship and (be)longings changes both in the global north and south as affects unfold, move and develop on the transnational cultural scene. Thus cultural productions on transnational surrogacy and assisted reproduction do not only document and narrate changes but intersects and performs them as well.



Author Information
Karen Hvidtfeldt Madsen, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark

Paper Information
Conference: ACCS2013
Stream: Cultural Studies

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