Animal Studies Journal


This conversation, mediated by Tara Nicholson, considers Stephanie Turner and EvaMarie Lindahl’s research in cultural representations of extinction and investigations of more-than-human forms of storytelling through an art historical lens. In response to Lori Gruen’s classification, extinction is a distinctive loss of ‘animal cultures’. It is more than biodiversity destruction or a static inventory of a species’ death. Nonhuman ways of building bonds, reproducing, teaching offspring, constructing homes and mourning the dead, are all systems of knowledge lost in extinction (Gruen et al. 2017). This conversation offers compassionate ways of bearing witness to species destruction and a space for empathy and kinship. The authors ask, how can dialogue between science and art lead to new understandings of the ‘wicked problem’ of mass extinction during climate crisis? Examining methodologies of cross-disciplinary storytelling and cultural production, this exchange connects museum practice, large-scale public artworks and artistic research as types of embodied knowledge to promote public awareness surrounding the acceleration of species extinction.