We, the animals

Students open an exhibition at Moesgaard - an exhibition about the relationship between humans and animals

Humans and animals

Since the beginning of time, animals and humans have lived side by side. Animals have been chased, tamed, feared, abhorred, and loved. They are found everywhere in our daily lives - even where we cannot see them. Narratives and myths about the animals' world are inherited from generation to generation – and are often exaggerated along the way. The animals are present in our language and in the ways we express ourselves. But how do we actually relate to animals?

In the annual student exhibition, made by undergraduate students from the anthropology study at Aarhus University, the students provide six suggestions on how to understand the relationship between humans and animals. They have studied how people relate to some of the animals that we surround ourselves with in Denmark.

Existence

With the exhibition, the students wish to make the audience reflect on the fact that people only exist by virtue of other species. This relationship will be exhibited in six very different mini-exhibitions, each of which contributes to a unified tale of how human and animal life is connected.

"Our species, Man, takes up more space on the planet now than ever before. Some people probably also think that we in the modern world have completely lost our connection to nature. Livestock is rarely seen in the landscape, and contact with animals is either considered under total control or, vice versa, completely out of control. The human race is at the top of the hierarchy of the animal kingdom. But why and what is it that makes us human?, ”says Amanda Høgsgaard and Kristian Frandsen, both of whom are undergraduate students from Aarhus University.

What makes us animals?

In the exhibition ‘We, the animals’, the students also reverse the question. In Denmark, where there are more than twice as many pigs as humans, they instead ask the question: What makes us animals? The data on which the exhibition is based, was collected by the anthropology students from Aarhus University through fieldwork in Denmark. They have designed the exhibition themselves and have worked intensively on the project, which has been created in just one month.

The exhibition ‘We, the animals’ can be seen in the Moesgaard Museum's exhibition laboratory until September 1, 2019.