“The Animal Empire – you are not invited” is a performative research in collaboration with Peter Vadim.

We find it urgent to do this project when the political and public discourse are extremely harsh to anyone who are different. We feel the urge of speaking up because I am – even though born and raised here in Denmark – often viewed as non-Danish and Peter – who defines himself as non-heterosexual. We and our social backgrounds and communities are getting attacked and we want to defend ourselves. But we know from experience that defending and attacking do not get us anywhere. It only makes the gap between groups of people bigger and sorrow and loneliness even bigger. Instead, we wish to find out why, what and how we experience in relation to this matter.

Our research is based on this:

Through dance and choreography, we investigate the paradoxes, dilemmas and ambivalent feelings and thoughts when we experience being excluded, dehumanized and compared to pests.

The dilemmas, paradoxes and issues are:

1) We accept the image of us as pests and oppose us the image

2) We want to belong but we create our own communities that separate us from others

3) When dehumanized, anger is our strategy of survival and the path to our self-extinction

4) To some extent, we experience liberation in oppression

5) Some prominent politicians compare us to vermin when we threaten their worldview. But then those politicians are also vermin, presumably, when they threaten our worldview.

Now that we are all pests we might as well get the best out of it. We explore how we can communicate than through anger, hate speech and threats. 

The title “The Animal Empire – you are not invited” implies that some people belong and some people don’t. But who are the animals? And who are not invited? These and the above mentioned are some of the many questions we are exploring and so far only more have emerged.

The performative research is divided into three parts: 1) Performance 2) Interaction with the audience 3) Panel discussion consisting of artists, researchers, politicians and consultants.

Panel discussion

June 22nd 2019 at 8pm:

Gerard M. Samuel, Senior Lecturer, Head of Dance Section, Centre for Theatre, Dance & Performance Studies, University of Cape Town.

Laura Luise Schultz, Associate Professor, Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen.

Christa Breum Amhøj, External lector, Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Copenhagen Business School and Partner at SDG-Actionuniversity (www.sdg-actionuniversity.dk)


June 23rd 2019 at 4pm:

Jørgen Callesen, Queer Performer, Curator and Artistic Director, Warehouse9. Ph.d. in Information & Media Studies, Aarhus University.

Morten Goll, Executive Director at Trampoline House – a community center for asylum seekers, refugees and other citizens in Denmark.

Storm Møller Madsen, Queer Performer and Part-Time Lecturer, Theater and Performance Studies, University of Copenhagen.


June 24th 2019 at 4pm:

Signe Flyvbjerg, Artist and Cand.mag. Modern Culture and Cultural Communication, University of Copenhagen.

Bettina Lamm, Landscape Architect and Associate Professor at the Landscape Architecture and Planning division, University of Copenhagen.

Asrin Mesbah, Cand.jur. and counseling coordinator at Trampoline House – a community center for asylum seekers, refugees and other citizens in Denmark (cancellation due emergent work)

Kristine Samson, Associate Professor at Visual Culture and Performance Design, Roskilde University


June 25th 2019 at 8pm:

Upeka Abeynayake, Ethnologist, activist and member of several boards including DRC/Documentation- and Advisory Center on Racial Discrimination, IMR and Pluralisterne.

Naja Lee Jensen, Artist and artistic director of HAUT – experimental stage for independent groups and performing artists.

Jens Tang Kristensen, Postdoc. Department of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen, and co-author of the book Becoming Animal.

Rasmus Nordqvist, Member of the Parliament for the Alternative and spokesman on foreign affairs, the EU, climate, peace and defence, cultural affairs and LGBTQI.


The Animal Empire – you are not invited will take place at Bådteatret June 22-25th as part of Ubåden’s program.

The project is supported by Dansk Artist Forbund.

Also, we have received support from Sportgoodsfonden to develop further on this project and to perform in public spaces.


Photo & Video: Sebastian Neerup Mandel

Costume: Maria Beydin

Music: Morten Sarkisian

Moderator: Eduardo Abrantes

Technician: Allan Hansen

Dancer and choreographer: Linh Le & Peter Vadim

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