The Animal Empire – you are not invited

“The Animal Empire – you are not invited” is an ongoing performative research in collaboration with dancer and choreographer, Peter Vadim. We explore the aesthetics of dehumanization.

Our website: State of Animals

 

Our motivation

We find it urgent to do this project due to our experiences of an increasing discrimination in the public discourse about race and sexuality. We find it frightening how some prominent politicians with no consequences can compare people who do not fit the heteronormative system with pests.

We experience (Peter as non-heterosexual and Linh as Danish-Vietnamese) that our social backgrounds and communities are getting attacked and we want to defend ourselves. We feel the urge of speaking up and acting out as a counterpower. But we know from experience that defending and attacking do not get us anywhere, and that the issue is much more complex.

The performative research

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 ambivalences 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.

 

June 2019, The Animal Empire – you are not invited at Bådteatret

For the first time, The Animal Empire – you are not invited took place June 22-25th 2019 at Bådteatret as part of Ubåden’s program.

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

Panel members:

June 22nd 2019

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

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

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

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.

Credits:

Photo & Video: Sebastian Neerup Mandel

Costume: Maria Beydin

Music: Morten Sarkisian

Moderator: Eduardo Abrantes

Technician: Allan Hansen

Dancer and choreographer: Linh Le & Peter Vadim

 

The performative research is supported by Dansk Artist Forbund and Sportgoodsfonden.