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Title: (pan-) Animal Magics: Ecofeminist Ethics and Aesthetics in The Web
Contributor(s): Rutherford, LM (author)
Publication Date: 2004
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Abstract: Ecological feminism describes a strand of philosophy and ethics which argues that common and interconnected structures of discourse are responsible for the violent subordination of both women and non-human animals. A frequent strategy is to challenge theoretical and linguistic binaries which support the continued exploitationand subordination of women and 'non-human nature'. To bring about an 'ecological revolution' which eschews the speciesist exploitation of non-human animals and the environment, ecofeminist philosophers have sought to subvert orthodox patriarchal codes which seek to radically separate the category 'Man' from the 'other animals'.Many have argued for the need to supplant an instrumentalist, colonising view of nonhuman animals with an ethics of 'care' which grounds responsibility to animals in values that have traditionally been coded as 'feminine' and 'inferior'—such as emotionand particular, localised relationships.The Web (2 series, dir. Lucinda Clutterbuck, 1993, 1995), is the work of feminist animators Lucinda Clutterbuck, Sarah Watt and Elisa Argenzio. The two series consist of short films produced with educational and conservationist goals in mind. The metaphor of 'reweaving' the 'web' is central to the holistic trajectory of muchecological feminist thought;3 a siting of the films within this body of thought will be one of my tasks in this paper. But, more importantly, I want to suggest that the expressive and plastic potential of the animated form is particularly apt to theecofeminist project in its ability to destabilise orthodox codes of representation and to privilege the emotions and the senses. In stark opposition to the conservative narrative moves of the realist, natural history documentary, or the comic anthropomorphism oforthodox cel animation featuring non-human characters, The Web balances narrative and character-driven strategies with more experimental animation tropes to subvert the dualistic separation of Homo Sapiens from other animal species and, therefore, to deconstruct the 'rationalist' and empirical view of non-human nature that legitimises regimes of violence.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Metro: Film, Television, Radio, Multimedia (141), p. 128-133
Publisher: The Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM) Inc.
Place of Publication: Melbourne
ISSN: 0312-2654
Field of Research (FOR): 190201 Cinema Studies
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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