10 Sep 2012 /

On Seeds and Multispecies Intra-Action: Disowning Life / Salima Ikram. Sacred Creatures, Beloved Pets: Ancient Egyptian Animal Mummies.

CONFERENCE / SEMINAR / 10:00 10 SEP 2012 / Ständehaus
On Seeds and Multispecies Intra-action: Disowning Life

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15:00 – 15:30
Salima Ikram. Sacred Creatures, Beloved Pets: Ancient Egyptian Animal Mummies.

The relationship between humans and animals has always been complex with mutual dependencies that are practical, psychological, and even theological. Ancient Egyptian animal mummies are a particular manifestation of this complex web of inter-relations.

15:30 – 16:00
Conversation between Salima Ikram and Tue Greenfort

This lecture will deal with the issue of working animals, which might take a particular (and optimistic) stance with both disowning life and intra-action perspectives.

Disowning Life is a two-day public conference that takes as its starting point dOCUMENTA (13)’s ecological perspective, building on a global alliance between different forms of research and knowledges that is actively being developed in a variety of fields. On September 10, the first part of this conference discusses humans as only one form of animal life amongst many others. On September 15, the second part focuses on questions around food and seeds, water and land, energy and de-growth. At a time when the models of production on which our world is based have been proved insufficient, and the arbitrary division of roles largely unjust, thinking about the way in which we sustain life on the planet is not just an interesting field of research but a crucial necessity.

The development of a collective consciousness that allows us to think and feel in sympathy with all types of mineral, vegetal, and animal life is allowing a new narrative to emerge—one that shifts the position of humans in the constellation of the natural world, placing us in a more balanced  scenario in relation to other beings. Notions revolving around seeding and the idea of multispecies intra-action are introducing new perspectives in eco-feminism that place the problem of difference or “othering” beyond gender. Inspired by and hoping to elaborate on the interrelated horizons of two main thinkers in these fields— multispecies biologist and cultural theorist Donna Haraway and seeds activist Vandana Shiva—this final conference of dOCUMENTA (13) gathers some of the most rigorous scholars, artists, and activists in these fields together with a range of committed new voices. 

Salima Ikram is founder and co-director of the Animal Mummy project at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo; she is one of the foremost scholars in Egyptian funerary archaeology. Combining an understanding of the past with a passion of preserving it for the future, she has brought the little-known world of animal mummies to light. Her research interests range from death to rock art, as well as the preservation and presentation of cultural heritage.

Tue Greenfort
is an artist based in Berlin who is concerned with nature, environment, ecology, and climate change. His work moves within a wide range of media, including sculpture, installation, video, and photography. Through it, he addresses the habitat of contemporary society from a critical point of view.


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