Frosties: Feminist Cultural Analysis of Frozen Cells and Seeds Documentaries

Charlotte Kroløkke*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Developments within cryobiology have turned the freezing of biological parts into standard clinical procedure. This article turns to the cryopolitics of egg freezing and seed conservation to focus on the cultural imaginaries of (frozen) cells and seeds revealed in the two documentaries: Motherhood on Ice (2014) and Seeds of Time (2014). The cultural imaginaries of frozen cells and seeds reiterate an understanding of reproduction as kinship-through-genes, extending the reproductive temporality of the body and the affective temporalities associated with climate change, turning cells and seeds into desirable insurance objects and objects of human manipulation. The article concludes that while Seeds of Time upholds a masculinist and scientific imaginary of humans as gods over seeds, in Motherhood on Ice, the cultural imaginary cements a gendered and straight temporality in which ice synchronizes straight, white women’s middle-class femininity and reproductive potential with ideals of romantic time.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Cultural Studies
Issue number5-6
Pages (from-to)528-544
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • Cryopolitics
  • Motherhood on Ice
  • Seeds of Time
  • cryopreservation
  • feminist cultural analysis
  • reproduction
  • time and temporality


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