Symposium 'Parliament of Corona Animals' 13-06-2020
Presentation by Eva Meijer, performative lecture by Marit Mihklepp, and book launch of Bestiary of Corona Animals by Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk.
A Tale of a Tub is pleased to invite to a series of presentations on viral response-abilities, interspecies solidarity, and animals as political subjects. Whereas the corona pandemic has so far predominantly been treated as a single species act of human survival and subsistence, we feel it is urgent to start discussing a more holistic grounding, taking into account interspecies solidarity and communication that lacks behind in current debates. From Wuhan’s wet market for wild animal trade, to increasing monocultural agriculture and deforestation, as well as the radical depletion of life forms and loss of biodiversity, it becomes essential to stipulate limits to growth and relational frames between human and non-human life forms, for which the current pandemic may be considered a timely warning. Could we start thinking of animals not as rights-bearing subjects but as political subjects, whilst seeking for a type of worlding that provides an equal footing for humans and non-humans? From the isolation of thinking and acting in an anthropocentric vacuum, to a world continuum.
Eva Meijer is a philosopher, writer and artist. In her presentation she will build on insights from her book When Animals Speak: Toward an Interspecies Democracy (2019) and argue that nonhuman animals speak and act politically. She will also investigate how this can function as a basis for building new interspecies democracies after corona.
Marit Mihklepp is an artist whose work explores existing and speculative communication systems between humans and other-than-humans. During her talk, Mihklepp will explore animal superpowers and survival rituals required for living in changing environments, as well as speculate on the possible translations of animal knowledge into human work practices, living habits and communication methods. Captivated by the possibilities of communication between other-than-humans and humans, Mihklepp has previously exercised togethernesses with bacteria, slime moulds, mountains and office chairs, and currently she focusses on stone bodies and their time perception.
Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk is director and curator at A Tale of a Tub and The Office for Curating. His new publication, Bestiary of Corona Animals, explores the causal relations between the human tendency to objectify the world, the continuous expansion of extractive activity, the trace effects of the current climate regime, and the outbreak of the current coronavirus pandemic.