Rather than predetermined and fixed, the categories “human” and “animal” are in flux. In this interview, Akira Lippit talks about how notions of humanity and animality are tightly bound together. Tracing the disappearance of animals from various ecospheres and the simultaneous appearance of animals in cinema (among other technological media), Lippit explores the figure of the animal within the context of modernity. Understood as without language and thus unable to conceptualize death, Western thought strangely maintains that animals cannot die. Turning a critical eye to the expression, “It’s only an animal,” the interview concludes with an analysis of violence against humans and animals during modernity. Given the weight of history, Lippit responds to the question, is resistance and agency possible? If so, how?
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