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Jack Halberstam

Animal Anarchy and “The Secret Life of Pets“

Moderation: Sonja Eismann / English

Part of the festival “The Mole Keeps on Digging. Animals / Politics / Performance

In the animated film "The Secret Life of Pets,” an underground community of abandoned animals agitate for revolution. They want to make war on the humans and plan to rise up from the sewers where they currently reside in order to encourage other animals to join them in the fight against human tyranny. In the underground world where the feral community resides, they agitate and plot for the coming uprising and attend rallies led by an enterprising and angry rabbit named Snowball. With obvious connections to Orwell’s "Animal Farm" and to many other animated films about animal revolt ("Chicken Run"), "The Secret Life of Pets" promises riots and mayhem but ultimately its characters settle for cuddles and human regard. The pets who encounter the feral community are terrified and enchanted by the potential they see there but they resist the animal undercommons and return to pet-human love and the comforts of domesticity. In this talk, Jack Halberstam will ask that we consider the revolutionary potential of the abandoned pets alongside a recalibration of human-animal intimacies on behalf of questions about love, lawlessness, dissensus, desiring machines, animal anarchy, pet subjugation, feral feminisms and wild politics.
Past dates
October 2017
By and with
Halberstam, Jack
Supported by the Federal Agency for Civic Education.