Post-Apocalyptic Story Telling with Amelia Johnstone

Hollywood, eh? You wait ages for some decent post-apocalyptic sci-fi to come along and what happens? You get wasteland motorcyclists with Dallas-sized shoulder-pads hewn from rubber tires picking fights with Hollywood A-listers. Or something.  And have we ever actually seen one of those posture-destroying rubber tires stop a bullet? No. Why do they wear them? Heat absorbant, smelly, clunky... just who on earth is designing post apocalyptic fashion anyhow?

No, wait - come back! It's not all doom and gloom in the world of post apocalyptic fiction. There's wonderful stuff out there. Amelia Johnstone is a fantastic artist and story teller who has channelled some rich, dark dreams to bring to life a feverish vision of a carnival in a blighted land that is slowly but surely losing the power of language. Still, the carnival rolls on, telling stories, doing tricks. For a few days a little space in a Cardiff shopping centre was transmogrified into a strange world and played host to this tale - and at the close of it all Amelia asked me to take some photographs...


Amelia is a talented artist whose illustrations are by turns sly, sinister, gleeful and ever, ever rich in imagination and colour. It's telling that her website cover is a quote from Angela Carter. She is available for commissions and her work can be found here: 

Finally, my top five post-apocalyptic tales in film and fiction...

5:  The Stand by Stephen King

Literary merit be damned, you simply can't beat this book for entertainment.

4: Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham  

The great grandfather of modern post-apocalypses. Kraken Wakes is also well worth a read. Killer walking plants plus near total blindness does for human race. 

3: Stalker by Andre Tartovsky 

Slow to the point of still Soviet sci-fi movie set in a mysterious industrial wasteland where three men conduct a pilgrimage to a room that can grant wishes. Nearly everyone died making it.  

2: Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood 

I can't read this again. It's terrifying and threw me into a savage depression, but it's probably the most pertinent warning for our current civilisation.  

1: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

The book is pure genius but the film I hold even more precious as it looks unlike any other sci-fi out there - you really slip into living inside this horribly facistic Lego town.

Also, Teletubbies. No, really. Think about it...