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curated by Vanessa Mangiavacca

I will leave you a little place in my house, but don’t forget, you are in my house.
Jacques Derrida

The history of western philosophy has been founded on the restricting dichotomy between man and animal from the beginning, as if humanity was able to define itself only in contraposition to animality. Today the animal is still the focus of the debate and the contemporary activism: antispeciesism, animalism, veganism and ecofeminism, just to list a few of them, gave the chance to reconsider the relationship between the two categories, overcoming the anthropocentric view, and to reappraise the way the animals live and how we interact with them. 

In the well-known essay L’animal que doce je suis, Jacques Derrida regards the animal as a subject that is able to observe, to think, to judge and not as an object anymore. Derrida realizes it by feeling embarrassed while standing naked in front of his cat. Let’s think about pets – who is a companion to whom? – and let’s think about how they acquire such an importance in our life, be they real or virtual. Without even noticing it, we project our needs and our relational requirements on them, looking for a way to fill a gap inside of us.

The animals are central elements of our way of expressing ourselves, our fantasy and our language, including cinema; have you ever asked a fox whether it felt shrewd or not, or a dog whether it was really that loyal? Animal House explores this relationship rich in nuances, in the intimate and social sphere, through different short works of the contemporary international landscape.

Selected films:

Churchill, Polar Bear Town, Annabelle Amoros, doc, Francia, 2022

Kënga e Pellumbit (A Pigeon’s Song), Eneos Çarka, doc, Belgium/Albania, 2021

Still working, Julietta Korbel, fiction, Swiss, 2019

Tourneur, Yalda Afsah, exp, German, 2018

Zarde Khaldar (Spotted Yellow), Baran Sarmad, fiction, Iran, 2020