State of Animals creates awareness on the aesthetics of being compared to pests. In the aesthetics lies the beauty, ugliness, tragedy, objectification and humour of dehumanization.

We are Linh Le and Peter Vadim. Linh defines herself as non-dane and Peter defines himself as non-heterosexual. We have both experienced being compared to pests. We accept the image of us as pests in the sense that, if we are pests, then all human beings are pests.

This creates another issue, because many people all around the world are being defined as non-human. We question that, by exploring the differences between humans and other animals.

We are both choreographers and dancers/performers. Also, Linh is a performance designer and Peter is a landscape architect. In combination we explore how dehumanization is expressed bodily in public space.

Examples of prominent politicians presumably comparing various groups of people with pests are Chechnya’s President Ramzan Kadyrov, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, President of the United States Donald Trump, former Danish Minister of Integration Birthe Rønn Hornbech and former chairperson of the Danish People’s Party Pia Kjærsgaard.

At the same time, there is a significant increase in hate crimes in public places. We believe there is a connection. And this is our motivation for doing this performative research.

Our ongoing performative research is called “The Animal Empire – you are not invited”. Read more about the research here.