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Andrea Palášti: Fitness for Unlikely Species: the Penguin Pool Edition

‘Fitness for Unlikely Species – the Penguin Pool Edition’ is a fitness training and an illustrative lesson about modernist Zoo architecture all rolled into one, by mimicking entities whose shapes, movements and existence are affected by living in captivity. As human physical fitness became an essential desire in the Anthropocene, not just to prevent diseases but also to resist climatic failure, it is crucial to find new ways of learning, understanding, connecting with, and moving within our ‘world in trouble’! 

Captivity deprives wild animals of natural behaviours, leading to zoochosis, where animals exhibit repetitive, purposeless actions like head rolling or pacing. As humans are also animals too, our increasing detachment from nature can lead to a phenomenon akin to zoochosis. This manifests as chronic stress, anxiety, depression, and a profound feeling of disconnection from our environment. Therefore, these exercises might also help trainees to address their own anxieties and depression. For, as Desmond Morris in The Human Zoo (1969) says, the unnatural behavior of animals in zoos can help us understand, accept and overcome the mechanisms that life in consumerist societies brings. 

Somatic learning was a term coined  by Thomas Hanna, who encouraged us to think about the relationship between our bodies and the environment through conscious movement experiences. Hanna contends that engaging in this learning approach expands the scope of voluntary consciousness for the ongoing task of adapting to the environment. Similarly to Ann Cooper Albright’s insights, it becomes evident that our perception is shaped by learned behaviors, and deliberate practices have the potential to mould fresh perspectives. Albright suggests an embodiment of falling, disorientation, suspension, gravity, resilience and connection as an opportunity to ground ourselves and survive our contemporary condition. In this light, ‘Fitness for Unlikely Species – the Penguin Pool Edition’ proposes an alternative mode of unlearning, at the intersection of ecopedagogy, performance art and physical training in order to initiate critical thinking through humour and irony. 

Drawings by Yvonne Tenschert. Created in the framework of Bauhaus Lab 2023, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, Dessau. Photo credits:  Penguin Pool, London Zoo, Regent’s Park, London: model, 1979. RIBA; Model of the Gorilla House, London Zoo, Regent’s Park, London, 1933. RIBA; Dudley Zoo, Dudley Castle: the polar bear enclosure, 1976. RIBA; Ailanthus altissima, London Zoo, 2023. Andrea Palasti.

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Andrea Palášti

ANDREA PALÁŠTI is an artist and learner based in Novi Sad, Serbia. Working across artistic, curatorial and pedagogical boundaries, she is testing different positions to create spaces of learning. Working with different communities in diverse informal group actions, she is experimenting with cross-discipline presentations, acting as: a misleading tourist guide, a more-than-human fitness trainer, a dilettante freshwater ecologist, an ignorant artisteacher, an unlicensed press photographer, a quasi primatologist, a noted expert on Dalmatian pyrethrum, an accidental historian, and a passionate archive researcher. She has presented, performed and workshopped at the Royal Academy of Art KABK; ELIA Biennial Conference; Y-Institute of HKB Bern; Study Rooms at Bauhaus Dessau Foundation; Second Summit on New Media Art Archiving at ISEA2022 symposium; the Amsterdam University of the Arts; the University of Applied Arts Vienna; Ars Electronica Garden Belgrade; The Museum of Science and Technology in Belgrade, among others. 

Elize de Mul: Multispecies Stories from Dutch Forest Gardens

As the climate crisis is unfolding itself at rapid speed globally, a radical – from radix, ‘root’ – cultural change is needed for humankind to be able to curve anthropogenic influence on global climate change and environmental degradation. In academia, paradigm shifts like the nonhuman and symbiotic turn in respectively humanities, the arts, social and natural sciences is gaining momentum, opening up new ways of seeing, relating and immersion to more-than-just-human others. This is paving the way for new insights, laws and regulations, and societal cultural shifts, envisioned in proposed new paradigms, like the Symbiocene (Albrecht 2019) and the Chthulucene (Haraway 2016). My research focuses on the ‘passionate immersion’ (Thom van Dooren 2016) of ‘urban dwellers’ with the ‘living landscapes’ of emerging forest gardens (‘food forests´) in the Netherlands.

My research focuses on small food forest projects, started by often inexperienced and idealistic pioneers. Food forests are interesting border phenomena, both physically and conceptually. They are agricultural practices, but also ‘wild’ forest areas, habitat and food source for both humans and more-than-humans. They are not only agricultural practices, but often recreational, educational and biological experiments as well. Being multispecies co-creations, food forests demand to let go some of the usual control, they give space to fauna, flora and funga to ‘speak for themselves’. Food forest pioneers have to experience (see, hear, smell, touch) other lifeforms and to share space with welcome and unwelcome others. 

I am interested in the ways self-image and worldview of humans could and are being influenced by he entangled with more-than-just-humans in food forest ecosystems. Drawing from the fields of biosemiotics, (socio-)ecology, media studies and posthuman philosophy I want to present food forests as transformative spaces that cultivate an ‘art of noticing’ (Tsing 2015) and ‘art of attentiveness’ (Thom van Dooren 2016), that blur Western dualisms like nature-culture, human-nonhuman and designer-designed.

I combine methods of ‘auto-ethnography’ (Karlsson 2016, 381), multispecies ethnography (S. Eben Kirksey 2010) and oral history revised by new media practices (High 2010) in order to tell stories of bodies, place, and time in the transformative living landscapes of five emerging forest gardens/ food forests in the Netherlands. Through auto-ethnography I am emerging myself in the Dutch food forestry movement (becoming a designer/practitioner myself) to develop an embodied understanding of the transformative potential of simultaneously deep-diving into new conceptual and (living) material worlds. Additionally, I have five food forest ‘pioneers’ record the (5-15 years old) living landscape with a go-pro camera as I interview them about the transformation of the living landscape and their relationships with the more-than-just-human others in order to map the emerging multispecies relationships. 

Albrecht, Glenn A. 2019. Earth emotions. New words for a new world. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press 

Haraway, Donna. 2016. Staying with the Trouble. Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Durham and London: Duke UniversityPpress 

High, Steven. 2010. “Telling stories: a reflection on oral history and new media.” Oral History (spring 2010): 101-112.

Karlsson, Bengt G. 2016. “The Forest of Our Lives: In and Out of Political Ecology.” Conservation & Society 14 (4): 380-390. https://www.jstor.org/stable/26393260.

  1. Eben Kirksey, Stefan Helmreich. 2010. “The emergence of multispecies ethnography.” Cultural Anthropology 25 (4): 545-576. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1548-1360.2010.01069.x.

Thom van Dooren, Eben Kirksey, Ursula Münster. 2016. “Multispecies Studies Cultivating Arts of Attentiveness.” Environmental Humanities 8 (1): 1-22. https://doi.org/10.1215/22011919-352769.

Tsing, Anna Lownhaupt. 2015. The Mushroom at the End of the World. On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press 

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Elize de Mul

Elize de Mul has a background in Media Studies (with a focus on film studies and digital culture) and Philosophy (with a focus on philosophical anthropology and media philosophy). She currently holds a postdoctoral research position at Radboud University Nijmegen. She takes part in the Comenius research project ‘You Have a Part to Play’, that aims for integration of sustainability (both as subject and as competencies) in all BA programs of the Radboud University (Nijmegen, NL). Next to that, she is carrying out individual research on new forest garden ‘living landscapes’ in the Netherlands. As postdoctoral researcher she is part of Radboud Institute for Culture and History, and of the recently launched Environmental Humanities research group. “Environmental humanities, at its core, refers to an interdisciplinary field that investigates the intricate connections between humans and their environment through the lens of literature, philosophy, history, anthropology, and other humanities disciplines. […] By critically examining human beliefs, practices, and imaginaries, our environmental humanities research group sets out to provide vital insights into the causes, consequences, and potential solutions for environmental crises” (RICH, environmental humanities).

Contact: elize.demul@ru.nl 

Fabian Mehmel: Player agency and animal extinction in contemporary video games

Video games have long been more than media for mere entertainment. Instead, they serve as a projection and reflection surface for numerous topics and discourses. As such,  some video games also deal with the issue of species extinction. Since “[h|umans  encounter a far wider array of animals and animal behavior in cultural representations  that they do in actual, lived, everyday experience” (Mills 2017, 96), which applies particularly to animals threatened with extinction, these media representations and their cultural impact become even more significant when talking about animal extinction. 

Unfortunately, many games such as Red Dead Redemption (2) (Rockstar Games  2010/2018), in which both the American Buffalo and the Carolina Parakeet can be wiped out through players‘ actions, fail to (re-) present any meaningful consequences and problems of these game actions. Instead, they reward the extermination of animals with trophies or useful game content, thus tying the reward mechanisms typical for games directly to these seemingly beneficial actions. 

Even more particularly perfidious and problematic ludonarrative possibilities can be found in videogames: in the record breaking Hogwarts Legacy (Warner Bros. Games  2023), species protection is merely used as a pretext to subject animals to rewarding exploitation mechanisms. Although it is narratively justified to bring endangered animals to a safe space under the guise of protecting them from poachers, they only serve as resource suppliers for the game’s crafting system as soon as they reach sanctuary. 

The poster will elaborate on the indicated variety of configurations regarding species extinction in contemporary video games by revealing that video games perpetuate problematic representations in many aspects but can also serve as a corrective for reality. As such, they create an imaginative space for problem solutions since many video games construct humans and their actions as agents of species extinction on a ludo narrative level.

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Fabian Mehmel

Fabian Mehmel is currently doing his PhD at the University of Kassel, Germany, in German literature and media studies. His fields of interest are literary and cultural topoi in video games, popular culture and media representations of animals and human-animal relationships. In his thesis, he deals with the pastoral / idyll in video games and examines,
among other things, in what way idyllic settings in video games affect the representation of animals and vice versa. An article on the idealised and romanticised representation of farm animals in ‘cosy farming simulations‘ for the video game journal PAIDIA is currently in preparation (expected publication in spring 2024).

Gina Lyle: Anthropocene Animals in Helen McClory’s Fiction

Contemporary Scottish writer Helen McClory’s fiction suggests that ‘[a]t this late stage of the Anthropocene there is no normal, neither for bird nor animal nor us’:  featuring supernatural and surreal elements, her writing repeatedly grapples with interspecies engagements, where odd relationships between human animals and non-human animals stress the strangeness of life in the Anthropocene. This theme is especially strong throughout her 2018 short story collection Mayhem & Death. Incorporating interview material with the author, this poster approaches McClory’s collection through a post-humanist lens, investigating how human relationships with animals are employed in her fiction to explore environmental concerns.

This poster begins by investigating the refutation of human dominion in the collection, indicating several instances of animal attacks which disrupt conceptions of human exceptionalism and illustrate our bodily vulnerability. These challenges to a perceived species hierarchy stress that humans are animals and exist within the same environment.

McClory further disrupts human exceptionalism by presenting humans as potential food for animals in stories including ‘Distinctive Natural Patterns’ and ‘The Companion’, where damaged ecosystems result in altered food chains. The climate crisis endangers human lives as McClory emphasises human responsibility for these horrifying consequences which force a reassessment of interspecies relationships.

Lastly, this paper offers an exploration of the novella ‘Powdered Milk’ which concludes Mayhem & Death as a human extinction narrative and considers how the appearance of a giant jellyfish in its final pages illustrates how animals may survive, or indeed thrive, in the absence of human impact.

This poster concludes by highlighting the variety of McClory’s uses of animals to explore the Anthropocene. This poster reveals how human and animal behaviours are shaped by climate change in the Anthropocene, stresses human responsibility for such altered relationships, and asserts that, for McClory, to speak of the animal is to speak of the climate crisis.

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Gina Lyle

Gina Lyle recently completed her PhD in Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow, where her thesis analysed the uses of ‘meat’ in contemporary Scottish fiction with a focus on gender and class. Her research interests include food in fiction, the body, and providing critical engagement with under-examined women’s writing. You can read about Gina’s research on the body as meat in eSharp, and her writing on Scottish women writers and their work on Scottish Women Writers on the Web and The Bottle Imp. Gina is the Scottish Writing and Culture Post-45 editor for The Literary Encyclopedia, a Level One tutor for Scottish Literature at Glasgow, and a founding member of the Studies in Meat in the Arts and Culture reading group (StOMAC). 

Ha Dang: The Role of Grief in Extinction Narratives: Stories From Vietnam

The paper begins with a dialogue with Ursula Heise’s perspectives which are articulated in her book titled Imagining Extinction: The Cultural Meaning of Endangered Species (The University of Chicago Press, 2016). 

Firstly, Heise argues that, ““Over the past half century, growing awareness of species loss has translated into a profusion of popular-scientific books, travel writing, novels, poems, films, documentaries, photographs, paintings, murals, musical compositions, and websites” (Imagining Extinction, p.32)”. While Heise’s observations hold true for many Western and non-Vietnamese cultural contexts, I would like to emphasize the unique characteristics of contemporary Vietnamese society in its confrontation with the issue of extinction and the necessity of elegiac narratives of extinction within this context. The article’s emphasis on raising public awareness about the issue of extinction in Vietnam stems from several key factors. To begin with, it is crucial to address the general apathy and lack of information among the Vietnamese population regarding this pressing environmental concern. This prevalent indifference can be attributed to the government’s shortcomings in effectively educating the public about the issue. 

Aside from a few scattered promotional articles and videos that fail to make a significant impact, the Vietnamese populace rarely encounters comprehensive and accessible information about the extinction crisis facing native flora and fauna, whether on the streets, in educational materials, or through mainstream media channels. Conservation efforts in Vietnam, therefore, appear to be limited to the unilateral endeavors of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Moreover, there is an extreme scarcity of valuable literary and artistic works that address the ongoing reality of extinction in Vietnam. This phenomenon, of course, not only originates from the general ignorance towards extinction in Vietnam, but also results in dearth of environmentally conscious voices. Secondly, while Heise asserted that, “Important as the genre of the species elegy has been for mobilizing public support, conservationists have also had to face its limits” (p.50), I still believe that “the power of mourning” retains its profound significance in evoking emotional resonance and fostering public concern regarding extinction in the context of Vietnam.

Drawing upon these perspectives, this paper examines contemporary Vietnamese narratives of extinction, spanning across fine arts (Reality through the Eyes by Nguyen Dinh Duy Quyen), graphic design (The Red List by Tung Nam), picture books (Wild Chang by Chang [Trang Nguyễn] & Jeet Zdung), literature (Post-Apocalyptic Fiction by Nguyen Ngoc Tu), documentaries (The silence of the summer by Mai Đình Khôi), and short films (Who’s still alive, raise your hand! by Nguyen Hoang Diep). These artworks represent rare instances of extinction narratives within the Vietnamese cultural landscape, yet they are all unique and thought-provoking pieces. All of these works revolve around the main narrative structure of mourning, which is especially necessary to change the indifference and call the attention of Vietnamese people to what is at risk of being lost forever.

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Ha Dang

Dang Thi Thai Ha (MA) is a researcher at the Institute of Literature, Vietnam Academy of Social Science. She specializes in studying contemporary literature from the perspectives of ecocritism and gender theory. The ways in which female bodies are represented in artistic works and the relationship between bodies of humans and their surrounding physical environment are the two favorite topics she is especially interesed and commit to pursuit. She has taken part in some national and international workshops and conferences related to gender, popular literature, ecocriticism and identity such as: Vietnamese Literature of The Renovation Period – Situations and Prospects (Hanoi, 2014), Reception Asthetic and Vietnamese Literature (Hue, 2014), Literary Practices in Innovative Period of Vietnam (Hanoi, 2015), Indo-Vietnam Cultural Relations: Retrospect and Prospect (New Delhi, 2016), Global in the Local: Ecocriticism in South-east Asia (Singapore, 2016), Ecocriticism: Local and Global Voices (Hanoi, 2017), Ecologies in Southeast Asian Literatures: Histories, Myths and Societies (Hanoi, 2018), etc. Her co-authored books include: Reception Asthetic and Vietnamese Literature (University of Education, Hue, 2014), Southeast Asian Ecocriticism: Theories, Practices, Prospects (Lexington Books, 2017), Vietnamese Prose Work Dictionary (Social Sciences Publishing House, Vietnam 2018), Southern prose works from Ecocriticism perspective (Art and Culture Publishing House, Hanoi, 2018), Popular Literature in Vietnamese contemporary context (Social Sciences Publishing House, 2020). She has published one personal book titled Identity, Body and Ecology – Some experiences on reading literature (Hoi Nha Van Publishing House, 2019). Some prominent research papers have been published: Subject and human identity in Nguyen Quyen’s poetry (Vietnam Journal of Literary Studies, No.10, 2015), Han Mac Tu’s poetry – an interpretation from body and illness problems (Vietnam Journal of Literary Studies, No.6, 2017), Literature and women: some theoretical and historical issues (Vietnam Journal of Literary Studies, No.3, 2018), Ecofeminism and the deconstruction of “logic of domination” (case of Nguyen Ngoc Tu’s prose works) (Vietnam Journal of Literary Studies, No.9, 2022), Xuan Dieu in Self-Reliant Literary Association: A Queer Voice (Vietnam Journal of Literary Studies, No.11, 2022).

Kaitlin Stack Whitney

Zombie ipsum reversus ab viral inferno, nam rick grimes malum cerebro. De carne lumbering animata corpora quaeritis. Summus brains sit​​, morbo vel maleficia? De apocalypsi gorger omero undead survivor dictum mauris. Hi mindless mortuis soulless creaturas, imo evil stalking monstra adventus resi dentevil vultus comedat cerebella viventium.

Zombie ipsum reversus ab viral inferno, nam rick grimes malum cerebro. De carne lumbering animata corpora quaeritis. Summus brains sit​​, morbo vel maleficia? De apocalypsi gorger omero undead survivor dictum mauris. Hi mindless mortuis soulless creaturas, imo evil stalking monstra adventus resi dentevil vultus comedat cerebella viventium.Zombie ipsum reversus ab viral inferno, nam rick grimes malum cerebro. De carne lumbering animata corpora quaeritis. Summus brains sit​​, morbo vel maleficia? De apocalypsi gorger omero undead survivor dictum mauris. Hi mindless mortuis soulless creaturas, imo evil stalking monstra adventus resi dentevil vultus comedat cerebella viventium.

Zombie ipsum reversus ab viral inferno, nam rick grimes malum cerebro. De carne lumbering animata corpora quaeritis. Summus brains sit​​, morbo vel maleficia? De apocalypsi gorger omero undead survivor dictum mauris. Hi mindless mortuis soulless creaturas, imo evil stalking monstra adventus resi dentevil vultus comedat cerebella viventium.

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Kaitlin Stack Whitney

Zombie ipsum reversus ab viral inferno, nam rick grimes malum cerebro. De carne lumbering animata corpora quaeritis. Summus brains sit​​, morbo vel maleficia? De apocalypsi gorger omero undead survivor dictum mauris. Hi mindless mortuis soulless creaturas, imo evil stalking monstra adventus resi dentevil vultus comedat cerebella viventium.Zombie ipsum reversus ab viral inferno, nam rick grimes malum cerebro. De carne lumbering animata corpora quaeritis. Summus brains sit​​, morbo vel maleficia? De apocalypsi gorger omero undead survivor dictum mauris. Hi mindless mortuis soulless creaturas, imo evil stalking monstra adventus resi dentevil vultus comedat cerebella viventium.

Natalie Joelle: The Militant Vegan

The Militant Vegan is a mid-nineties underground zine with ongoing international influence. Founded to redress ‘media blackout in the US on direct action on behalf of enslaved animals’, its pages document actions of economic sabotage against animal exploitation, with an emphasis on those claimed under Animal Liberation Front (ALF) guidelines. The zine offers ‘for informational purposes only’ a repository of activist tactics, communicated journalistically, through didactic graphic narratives, and visually within the page layout. 


The Militant Vegan is a timely counterpoint to contemporary attempts to distance veganism from ecopolitical militancy through plant-based capitalism, as well as showing throughlines to tactics currently used by groups such as Animal Rebellion/Animal Rising dubbed ‘militant vegans’ by the press.

The poster is a playful index of The Militant Vegan, which takes the form of a collage that recirculates its radical print culture, articulating an alphabet of ecotage to counter the suffering of animal exploitation.  

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Natalie Joelle

Natalie Joelle is a prize-winning scholar, creative and activist at Birkbeck, University of London, completing a transdisciplinary environmental humanities doctoral study at the intersection of theory and practice on gleaning and lean culture, supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Fund for Women Graduates. 

Her critical and creative work can be found as part of ISLE, The Goose, Plumwood Mountain, the Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry, DATABLEED, Epizootics and as part of the Routledge Environmental Humanities and Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature series. Her work on The Militant Vegan zine is forthcoming in the Militant Ecologies special issue of Green Letters

Natalie is a recent Fellow of the Kluge Center, Library of Congress and serves on the Research Advisory Committee for The Vegan Society. 

Niamh Donnellan: Badgers in Ireland: An Interspecies Cultural Case Study

This poster outlines the research element undertaken for a cultural case study of badgers in Ireland as part of my PhD project ‘Ecological Philosophy for the Anthropocene’. Through a posthuman and post-anthropogenic lens it interrogates the precarious position that badgers hold in the Irish psyche. Persecuted and exterminated, the badger’s story represents the tensions between global and local values for both farmers and environmentalists and begins to etch out the common interests that are held between these often polarised positions. It also situated the Irish badger within paradigms of Critical Animal Studies and Extinction Studies in order to provide connections and create alliances with the more-than-human and human others that are persecuted in the name of progress.

Niamh Donnellan

Niamh is a PhD Candidate and Departmental Assistant at Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, Ireland. She holds an MA in Culture and Colonialism from University of Galway. Her work focuses on the intersections of ecofeminism, animism and postcolonialism. Niamh has a chapter contribution titled ‘Working with Uncertainty’ in the forthcoming book with Palgrave Macmillan Environmentalism After Humanism, edited by Andrew Rose and Stefani Fishel and a chapter contribution ‘Badgers in Ireland’ in Animal Poetics, edited by Eoin Flannery and Eugene O’Brien, due for publication with Routledge next year. She also works in her local community as a Forest School Leader, connecting children and educators with the magic of nature.

Pantea Armanfar: A Practice of Listening with: Omid’s Home-making as Temporal Site of Reconciliation

We listen to Omid imaginatively; we write with an experimental approach of utilizing field notes, exploring social media hashtags of Omid in Farsi, and writing while listening to the collective chorus of Siberian Cranes (Grus leucogeranus), one of the most endangered bird species in the world, designated as “Critically Endangered” under the IUCN Red List category (BirdLife International 2023). Omid, meaning “hope” in Farsi, is the only one leg of the western population of Siberian Cranes who winter in Iran after making an approximately 5000 kilometers journey, passing through Naurzum wetlands in Kazakhstan, and the Volga river delta in Russia (Ławicki and Tizrooyan 2018). Omid has returned to Iran every October-November and stayed until February-March for three-four months for the past sixteen years, except a year in between during which he perhaps found it difficult to visit Iran again after losing his mate, Arezoo, meaning “wish” in Farsi (Alakija 2023). Siberian cranes tend to be monogamous. I imagine Arezoo and Omid’s unison calling somewhere in Russia in 2007 when they bonded and afterwards flew to Iran together. Locals called them Omid and Arezoo: hope and wish. One year later, Omid loses Arezoo, most probably because of illegal poaching. Omid doesn’t return to Iran. Did you want to disappear too? Where did you stay? Why did you return?

 The locals called you Omid, the hope. But how is extinction hopeful? Does their approach call for a hopeful account of care? Or is that the wish for you not to leave? Is that the longing we feel for you to stay? To mate again? To not die? Or do we learn from you the memories you hold? And we pass it on with hope? Is the hope also the hope to spend time listening to you and with you, to imagine your flight and to create space for your presence in a daily life of an artist and researcher through your absence? Is that the hope to learn your survival strategy of navigating the “contact zones” (Haraway 2016; Pratt 1991) of presences and absences, uncertainties and conflicts; un-navigated and un-thought? What boundaries do you blur? 


Alakija, Neza. 2023. “Earth Day 2023: Evoca Foundation Champions Emotional Investment and Creativity.” Impakter. 

BirdLife International. 2023. “Species Factsheet: Leucogeranus leucogeranus.” http://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/siberian-crane-leucogeranus-leucogeranus. 

Haraway, Donna. 2016. Staying with the Trouble, Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Durham and London: Duke University Press.  

Ławicki, Łukasz and Tizrooyan, Hamed. 2018. “‘Omid’: Last Wild Siberian Crane in the WP.” Dutch Birding 40 (4): 247-252. 

Pratt, Mary Louise. 1991. “Arts of the Contact Zone.” Profession: 33–40. 

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Pantea Armanfar

pantea⚫ mid is a multidisciplinary artist from Iran engaging with narratives of ecological and more-than-human connection. Her work has incorporated creative writing, audiovisual design, performance, film, photography, and radio art. They are co-directing Associació So in collaboration with Soundcamp Cooperative and co-facilitating Khamoosh, a transdisciplinary community dedicated to preserving and archiving Iranian sonic heritage. They are a member of the Radio Web MACBA working group, one half of the audiovisual design group Studio Informal, and co-editor of Rising Voices journal. pantea is currently learning about socially-engaged practice and community-based work by exploring possibilities brought about by listening. She is passionate about wetlands and plants, and is currently studying a practice-based PhD studies in Music at City, University of London. She has works performed and exhibited internationally across the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Croatia, Turkey, and India. 

Ragesree Roy: The Monster and the Bird: Eco-horror in Holocaust Bildungsroman

In this poster, I compare the position of animals within a post-humanistic representation of trauma induced on children in Holocaust literature to demonstrate how juveniles rethink boundaries between animals and humans and create a world of eco-horror that represses the enunciation of the survivors. It focuses on two Holocaust bildungsroman: David Grossman’s See Under: Love, in which the son of a Holocaust survivor is obsessed with a monster “over there”, an unknown place from where his neighbours and relatives emerge, and  Jerzy Kosinski’s The Painted Bird, in which a six-year old boy struggles to survive with a bird catcher who captures birds, paints them in heterogeneous, bright colours and releases them only to rejoice in the vicious killing of the bird by its flock that identify the strange colours as alien. Animals in Holocaust literature inevitably become modes of representation, reflecting human psyche through bestial behaviours (Sokolf 2020). Shifting the focus from allegorical signifiers to a reconstitution of reality, affected by trauma, I read the two bildungsroman as fiction in eco-horror that inform conceptions of reality and human’s interface with nature and history. In Grossman’s novel, Momin imagines the concentration camps as an “enchanted kingdom with knights and castles”, with the “Nazi beast” becoming the source of unfathomable horror. Momik is unable to visualise this “beast” and locks several animals in the basement to “tame it and make it good”, just as he idealises his interaction with the “Nazi beast”. I argue that the eco-horror that Momik assumes as reality, positions animals as post-humanistic tools that separates and distorts history from the present reality. A menagerie of animals in Kosinki’s novel reflect on human ideologies: birds, dogs, rabbits, rats, hawks, pigeons, squirrel and even the myth of a vampire. Inquiry into the intersection of eco-horror with post-humanist reading signifies the human-animal interrelation and consequent impact on the construction of reality that have helped children to re-evaluate the concepts of belonging and identity in relation to the Holocaust.

Ragesree Roy

I am currently in the final year of my Ph.D. studies in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick. My research focuses on postcolonial literature and environmental humanities, exploring the intricate connections between literature, culture, and socio-environmental dynamics. Alongside my doctoral research, I work as a Senior Graduate Teaching Assistant within the department, where I conduct seminar hours on ‘world literatures’ and ‘epic into novel’ modules. I also hold the position of Impact Research Coordinator at Warwick Enterprise, where I am actively involved in facilitating collaborations and initiatives that translate academic research into real-world impact. Within this role, that is supported by a WIHEA Fellowship, I am engaged in student-led initiatives aimed at fostering discourse on gender and environmental issues across various disciplines. Through these endeavours, I strive to contribute to the advancement of critical scholarship and promote meaningful engagement with pressing global challenges.

Suzana Marjanić: "Mysterious" extinction of bees or nature strikes back

Using the example of warnings about the dangers of GMO food, which, for example, are systematically reported on a global scale by Árpád Pusztai, and as far as Croatian frameworks are concerned, Marijan Jošt (1940–2021), the article recalls two recent cases of the so-called the “mysterious” extinction of bees in the “Balkan” region (Serbia, Croatia – EU). This is a case from 2019 when 1,668 bee colonies died in a major poisoning of bees in Kikinda (Serbia) and a case in Međimurje (Croatia) when in 2020 the death of about 57 million bees was recorded (a total of 1,150 beehives, in each beehive about 50,000 bees). It is noticeable that none of the mainstream media raised the possibility of glyphosate’s influence on mass bee deaths. Science gives the mentioned phenomenon the name Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD disorder), and studies show that the culprit is glyphosate, the active substance of the herbicide Roundup, which is widely used today in the production of GMO crops.

In addition to GMO food, there is also the problem of hybrid species, so that according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 75% of the world’s cultivated varieties have disappeared in the past hundred years. The problem of hybrid species is documented in the documentary film Seeds of Profit (2019, directed by Linda Bendali), which, among other things, points out that two-thirds of the seeds belong to the following multinational corporations: Bayer – Monsanto, DowDuPOnt, Syngenta (headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, and quite active on the Croatian market), Limagrain. Israel-based Vilmorina Corporation also uses artificial bees (electric brushes) to pollinate plants; and there are also robotic “bees-drones” (Ponti, 2017).

Suzana Marjanić:

Suzana Marjanić works at the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore in Zagreb (Croatia), where she realises her interests in the theories of ritual and myth, critical animal studies and the performance studies. She published six books and co-edited eight collections. She is a member of Animal Friends Croatia from 2001. 

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