Stories From Feral Malmö
Looking at the creeping, flying, hopping, digging, swimming, growing, swaying, looking, thinking, searching beings in the city of Malmö
It may seem as if we have been taking a long and no doubt well-deserved break from uncovering the conspiracies of the non-human world, Anthrovision has actually been busy with research for a new project. While we will continue to tell the thrilling stories of man triumphing over pathetic nature, we will also be providing regular news and stories of Feral Malmö.
Introducing Feral Malmö
The eyes of an animal when they consider a man are attentive and wary. The same animal may well look at other species in the same way. He does not reserve a special look for man. But by no other species except man will the animal's look be recognised as familiar. Other animals are held by the look. Man becomes aware of himself returning the look.
John Berger, Why Look at Animals
Feral Malmö is an experimental project, started by designers Inna Zrajaeva, Christina Bauer, and John Kazior, that aims to map the many stories of the species living in Malmö, Sweden. As is often discussed in this blog, many creatures that occupy cities like Malmö are often seen as pests that are good only occasionally for driving up property value or to be used as cheap laborers for carbon-intensive corporations. The rest of the time, trees, birds, shrubs, weeds, insects, frogs, rats, lichen, fish, fungi, and the many inhabitants of the city are pretty much just annoying obstacles to be controlled (often exterminated) or tastefully landscaped.
But when looking closely at this dynamic, it is easy enough to see that a large part of why we might find our fellow city dwellers to be off-putting, and even unnatural, is because all of us living in these spaces are at the mercy of questionably designed cities. Just as it is true with many people, the societies of these constant characters are omitted or intentionally marginalized by the overwhelming infrastructure of the city. So much so that for most of us, it is easy enough to regard them as totally irrelevant to our existence. A striking fact, when most of us are otherwise constantly being reminded of a worsening climate crisis and mass extinction.
This is why Feral Malmö is offering to help residents and visitors of the city of Malmö look closer at outlandish mushrooms and those exasperating seagulls. The project will be organizing workshops and building a forum for people in Malmö to discuss, observe, and visualize the many cultures that exist beyond the humans living in this city. In writing these interconnected narratives for the creatures and people of the city, we hope to reinforce the fact that even the city exists within an ecosystem—and you don’t need to be a scientist to understand it.
In the end, we hope to publish our findings, build an archive of people’s experiences with different species in the city, and design tools for looking at the city from the perspective of the many species who live here.
For this project, Anthrovision! will be publishing observations, stories, updates, events, and other material for Feral Malmö. If you or somebody you know is interested in the project, please share this post and stay tuned.