I would like somebody somewhere to endow an annual prize for a work of art which takes a group of the most oppressed subjects and makes an effective and transformative representation of their situation. The work would make its audience care about what happens to those oppressed subjects and to understand something of the audience's own role in maintaining their oppression. It would foster recognition of the subjectivity and creativity of the oppressed group and consciousness of the need for redistribution of respect and of cultural and material goods. Above all, it would help to support and protect them. If these are subjects who are conventionally seen as radically excluded, for example as beyond the possibility of communication or as embodied in ways which occasion aversion or anxiety, the prize work should attempt to disrupt those violence-prone perceptions. One of my nominations for such a prize would be the film Babe.
Recommended CitationPlumwood, Val, Babe: The Tale of the Speaking Meat - Part I, Animal Issues, 1(1), 1997.