‘We Are Animals’ is a research project which aims to engage with the urgent cultural momentum driving forward awareness about environmental sustainability and animal extinction – and make a valuable research contribution through remembering that we too are animals. Originally scheduled to take place at DRS and Dance 4/iC4C in the spring-summer of 2020, activities were cancelled owing to the pandemic crisis. However the creative team have continued to meet online throughout the lockdown period, taking the research forward and supporting each other through a difficult period.
They are exploring a wide range of cultural, political and ecological narratives, which both celebrate the human animal as part of human subjectivity and also degrade the animal as the opposite of everything human beings aspire to. These sources will provide a framework for creative research, which aims to achieve some understanding of human symbiosis and empathy with other animals and to ask fundamental questions about an idea of ‘civilisation’ which separates ‘us’ from ‘them’.
The team of highly experienced, interdisciplinary artists have drawn on and shared their own personal and political experiences of living through lockdown to inform their research, while gathering images, references, and metaphors from different cultures and eras to explore how the narrative of human/animal hybridity is deep within us. Reflecting on their combined stories concerning: oppression, illness, caring, birth, creativity and survival, they will look at some of the ways in which contemporary human life separates us from our own animal intelligence and the other animals we share the planet with. – Jacky Lansley
‘We Are Animals’ is curated by Dance Research Studio. The research artists involved are: Jacky Lansley, Jreena Green, Esther Huss, Ingrid Mackinnon, Fergus Early and Tim Taylor; their biographies are available here. In the following pages the artists share starting points and fragments from their individual and collective research.
(c) copyright Dance Research Studio 2020.