Blackfish, Anarcho-Critique & Queer Insurrection?
With the great publicity the film Blackfish is getting, I thought it would be appropriate to review a related article I wrote last year entitled “Operation Splash Back!: Queering Animal Liberation Through the Contributions of Neo-Insurrectionist Queers“. Following the killing of Sea World trainer Dawn Brancheau, I became interested in the case of this infamous orca. After learning more about the event, and the whale’s violent past, I decided to do some writing.
The article examines the Queer insurrectionary network formerly known as Bash Back! and argues for a species-infused manner of intersectionality. The essay is based around both the killing of Brancheau as well as the reaction it produced. Following her death, the Bash Back! network issued a satirical communique praising the actions of “trainer killers” and it is from this piece of incendiary text that the essay begins.
The article I wrote was published twice. Once by the Journal for Critical Animal Studies, and secondly in a book entitled “Without Borders or Limits: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Anarchist Studies” edited by Jorell A. Meléndez Badillo and Nathan J. Jun. I also have spoken about this topic, including a talk which was recorded at the North American Anarchist Studies Network conference. That talk can be seen here. A second version of that talk, presented at the institute for Critical Animal Studies’ conference, is styled as a more formal academic paper, and available here.
Let’s also take this brief moment of attention being paid to the domination of sea animals to remember that places like Sea World, Marineland and the likes deserve to be heaved onto the trash pile of history along with other sites of imprisonment, servitude and violence. If you liked Blackfish and feel moved to help, why not check out Marineland Animal Defense who have been campaigning against this Canadian Sea World doppelgänger for years. If you need additional motivation to act, check ou this daring sea action taken by a cell of the Animal Liberation Front in 2007.
If you recently saw Blackfish and felt the need to explore these themes more, why not start here?: