‘Animal Others: Wild Ideas About Civilization’ is a collaborative project that combines art and poetry to seek alternative solutions for the various crises humanity faces: environmental breakdown, social exclusion, technocratic rule. We’re asking viewers and readers to consider radical responses and alternative solutions to our existential challenges – not just more policy, more data, more debt spending. We believe Nature’s wisdom to be far advanced from anything mankind has yet discovered. Specifically, we seek to draw attention to non-rational, organic and spiritual directions humanity should take to combat alienation, reduce waste and environmental destruction, and activate inclusive dialogue between peoples and communities. We combine striking images with poems to unsettle what people think they know – from a wildcat dressed in a cravat to a skull-toting Shaman wishing hell on her oppressor. For more:
J.W.Wood is the author of five collections of poems and a thriller selected for rights auction at the Rome Film Festival. His work has appeared in the TLS, Poetry Review, Boston Review (US), Carve (US) and many other publications and anthologies around the world. Shortlisted or nominated for several awards including the Bridport Prize and the T.S.Eliot Prize for Poetry, he is the recipient of Awards from the British Columbia Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. Later this year, Terror House Press will publish his novella, By Any Other Name.
Cyrille Saura is a Swiss artist, illustrator and teacher. She was raised and has studied architecture in France, has worked as a graphist for the UN in Switzerland, and she teaches art with students of all ages as a private teacher in Canada. Living surrounded by forest on a North Pacific Island, she finds inspiration in the beauty of nature and wildlife. In her personal work she aims to express our connection to a higher dimension of life. She was exhibited at the Van Der Plas Gallery in New York in November 2019.
THE SHAMAN’S MANTLE
The sun’s lamp blesses our village
Before the moon rises. The walls of our tents
Take voices of their own. Even our cooking pot
Has its kingdom, and the furs we skin
Speak to each other as they dry
In the night air. At my command,
This skull I wear will take form and walk
In circles around our burial mounds.
They may try to take the best of us
To work in a factory or become whisky’s slave,
And they will seek to traffick our sisters
To locked rooms where daylight never plays.
Whatever evil they do, remember that in times to come,
No-one will know their uniforms,
Their names, their guns, or false idea of law.
By the stars above, I swear our magic
Will enslave them: they shall rule no more.
In the unimagined space
between truth and your devising
lies my shadow;
Inside your magic circle,
those professors and their particles,
rests my ire.
No tear shed
for your technology here
where Capricorn and Venus cross.
This stellium of flesh and bone
casts a cold light on your binary life
and bids you move on.
Those heavens my haven; that star, my soul –
my name, my home. Lux aeterna in my vision,
this stone and mountain snow, my Eden.