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Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (UK and Ireland)

Activity: Conference participationParticipation in conference

6/09/2017

Centaurs and transhumance: On movement and modes of being together

Transhumance, the seasonal movement of human and non-human animals, is a practice that disrupts the modern boundary separating the human from the animal. TransHumance, a multi-sited and multi-media performance which Theatre du Centaure created in 2013, mobilises transhumance to propose a critique of the separation. We examine how the cinematic rendition of the critique exposes its anthropocentrism, chiefly by visibly corralling animals, rather than allowing their free movement. Despite the contradictions, however, TransHumance draws attention to alternative understandings of ‘being together’ and, importantly, the animal’s imperceptible blink of the eye on the Theatre du Centaure’s web portal reminds us of the animal presence and its desires. We have to go back to movement, as Buller (2012) suggests, to be able to ask what the animal wants. Humans and animals in movement provide the context that allows us to pose the question about 'animality', a question that TransHumance forgets to ask.

Conference

TitleBiennial Conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (UK and Ireland)
Date6/09/178/09/17
CitySheffield
CountryUnited Kingdom