Date – 2100
Place – Doha. Qatar
The huge European bloc, for centuries an economic powerhouse, was reaching a crisis point faced by many societies in the global North, an ageing population and a shrinking workforce. As the economic foundations shook, the young and the skilled increasingly looked outside the bloc for their futures.
Qatar, the last of the great Oil States, long used to importing low-skilled workers to fill unpopular jobs, was now in a position to offer extraordinarily high wages to the highly skilled young migrants from Europe – but on terms dictated to the immigrants by the state. Stringent social controls were imposed on these new workers including rigorous contraceptive measures on all sexes. Complicity in a pregnancy was punishable by forced sterilisation and deportation.
The object shown is a state supplied contraceptive device; simple, effective, and worn at all times, the device also contains radioactive elements that were easily picked up by handheld scanners. Security forces at airports, public spaces and government offices could identify within seconds whether a European ‘guest’ worker was wearing their device and would act accordingly.
These deeply unpopular devices were withdrawn from use after extensive and sometimes violent civil disobedience campaigns were mounted by the foreign technology consultants supported by the young middle classes of Qatar. Despite the levels of violence, The Doha Baby Riots of 2100 laid the foundations for various social justice movements in the region and the subsequent democratic revolutions that spread across the Middle East in the early part of the century.