Vietnam. Photo by: Michu Đăng Quang unsplash.com/photos/XzphmI4Rhgg?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditShareLink
This question comes up a lot when I’m discussing the book with my readers.
I think it is important to reflect first on what Dystopian Fiction is. It can be simply described as an exaggeration or a mirror image of the current world we live in set in the future or alternate universe. For example, authors describe politics, society structures and our disrespect of nature on their pages, to name a few. They all, however, have something very important that ties them together. It is the toxicity and destructive nature of humans.
So where did I get my inspiration for Sābanto? I read many books and articles to guide me through the thought process, but as I think about it more, news was and continues to be my most significant inspiration. Every day we are bombarded with information that we can leverage into dystopian fiction. There is a constant fight within society and individuals that the news reflects. We ask ourselves: Is it ethical? Is it acceptable? Is it justifiable? What’s there for me? Can I choose ignorance?
As the pandemic hit in 2020 it was clear that the global event exposed the divide between the rich and poor. The rich reported large profits during the pandemic, while the poor were the ones that were the essential workers and had little choice but to go to work. Many of them still today, have to make an impossible choice of taking the risk, or quitting work and not being able to afford food for themselves and their families. Pandemic is just one of many examples showing that the ditch separating these two worlds is being dug deeper every day.
There is also a continued hatred of the poor. Many view poverty as a failure in life or laziness. These lies are fueled by the selfishness of a human being; the egoism that is inside each of us. This weakness shapes what we think and how we act when encountering those in poverty and it is something that we as humans need to change.
Sābanto looks at the world as it is today and it mirrors it. It explores the human struggle between humbleness and arrogance, in a world where grand mansions are boldly built overlooking the city slums.