- Dolphins Who Blow Bubbles: Anthropological Machines and Native Informants
- Akademisk Kvarter
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
"Dolphins Who Blow Bubbles: Anthropological Machines and Native Informants" engages a reading between an Oscar winning and now ‘cult’ activist film The Cove (Louise Psihoyos 2009) and classical texts on the human-animal threshold. Giorgio Agamben’s The Open (2002) and Jacques Derrida’s "The Animal that Therefore I am" (2002) offer important visions of our human relationships to other species-beings which, in this case, are dolphins. The Cove exposes the capture of dolphins, their trafficking and slaying in the cove of a fishing village, Taiji, in Japan. Inspired by the heist elements and cinematography of Soderbergh’s Ocean’s 11 (2001), The Cove finds the director leading a hit-squad who will film the cove’s bloody events. Hollywood props hide high-tech cameras. The diver-filmmakers put their lives in jeopardy, risking arrest and possible torture. But there is more at stake than an analysis of a ‘rescue and reveal’ narrative. Postcolonial questions arise. There is a problematic threshold between American interventionism and questions of Japanese cultural autonomy. Moreover, nonhuman animals can be theorized as the colonized "other". Gayatri Spivak’s important concept, the "native informant" becomes an important term in understanding the Agamben "zone of exception" between the colonized human subject and the "bare life" of dolphins.
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