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Donna Haraway: Story Telling for Earthly Survival

A film by Fabrizio Terranova

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Feminist thinker and historian of science Donna Haraway is perhaps best known as the author of two revolutionary works: the essay "A Cyborg Manifesto" and the book Primate Visions. Both set out to upend well-established "common sense" categories: breaking down the boundaries among humans, animals, and machines while challenging gender essentialism and questioning the underlying assumptions of humanity’s fascination with primates through a post-colonial lens.

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DONNA HARAWAY: STORY TELLING FOR EARTHLY SURVIVAL features Haraway in a playful and engaging exploration of her life, influences, and ideas. Haraway is a passionate and discursive storyteller, and the film is structured around a series of discussions held in the California home she helped build by hand, on subjects including the capitalism and the anthropocene (a term she "uses but finds troubling"), science fiction writing as philosophical text, unconventional marital and sexual partnerships, the role of Catholicism in her upbringing, humans and dogs, the suppression of women’s writing, the surprisingly fascinating history of orthodontic aesthetics, and the need for new post-colonial and post-patriarchal narratives. It is a remarkably impressive range, from a thinker with a nimble and curious mind.

Haraway and filmmaker Fabrizio Terranova (who we hear but don't see) are clearly at ease with each other, giving the conversations—which are punctuated by images of artwork and quirky animation—a casual, intimate feel. Terranova makes playful use of green screens to illustrate Haraway's words, or to comment on them. As Haraway discusses storytelling, we see an image of her in the background, writing. When the conversation turns to her own unorthodox personal relationships and the oppressive power of heteronormativity, the redwoods out her window are replaced by a crisp suburban street. Underwater invertebrates, one of Haraway’s fascinations, float by in the background of a room.

DONNA HARAWAY: STORY TELLING FOR EARTHLY SURVIVAL is a clever and insightful glimpse into the thought of a major contemporary figure.

Available to stream with French, Spanish, Catalan and Italian subtitles.

"An ode to this thinker’s expansive mind and life. Besides a heady, speculative journey through theory, politics, sci-fi, and so much else, you get a sense of the deep joy that Haraway takes in all life." —Vice Magazine

"A heroine to a generation of women who are starting to call themselves cyberfeminists." —Wired

"An intimate and personal account; makes the viewer feel like they are entering into a personal conversation with Haraway." —American Anthropologist

Pushing cinéma vérité into the realm of the surreal, Terranova brings one of the most evocative social theorists to life and demonstrates the supple, transformative nature of storytelling itself." —Cultural Anthropology

"A rare, candid, intellectual portrait of a highly original thinker; Haraway is a gifted storyteller who paints a rebellious and hopeful universe teeming with critters and trans species in an era of disasters." —Concreta Journal

"[After the launch of Cyborg, the 2018 Gucci collection,] creative director Alessandro Michele's post-show press conference feels like an advanced seminar in philosophy. His primary source, he said, was Donna Haraway's 1984 'A Cyborg Manifesto,' an essay questioning the boundaries between humans, animals and machines." —The Guardian

"Feminist theorist and philosopher Donna Haraway has substantially impacted thought on science, cyberculture, the environment, animals, and social relations." —Margret Grebowicz, author of 'Beyond the Cyborg: Adventures with Donna Haraway'

"With her inimitable brilliance, compassion and wit, Donna Harawayand a few of her selected travelling companionstake us through an exhilarating journey that combines sharp theoretical insights with moving personal moments. An intellectual giant comes to life as never before. Enjoy the ride!Rosi Braidotti, Philosopher and Distinguished Professor, Utrecht University

"Donna Haraway is brilliant, passionate, original—and a leading intellectual force of our times.  This portrait offers an intimate glimpse into the style and imagination of this charismatic thinker." —Anna Tsing, Professor of Anthropology, UC Santa Cruz

2017 Tate Modern, London, UK
2017 Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK
2017 Festival Interférences, Lyon, France
2017 Environmentalism Outside the Box: An Ecosex Symposium, Santa Cruz, CA
2017 Environmental Film Festival Australia, Melbourne, Australia
2017 Planétarium, Confort Moderne, Poitiers, France
2017 Festival International de Cinema Queer, Lisbon, Portugal
2017 Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF), Svolvaer, Norway
2017 Fuchsbau Festival, Hanovre, Germany
2017 Kampnagel, Hamburg, Germany
2017 Loud and Proud, Paris, France
2017 Concreta, Valencia, Spain
2017 Tentacular Thinking lecture series, Zurich, Switzerland
2017 DOXA Documentary Film Festival, Vancouver, Canada
2017 Donaufestival, Krems, Austria
2017 MaerzMusik Festival for Time Issues, Berlin, Germany
2017 Mostra International Films Dones, Barcelona, Spain
2017 Sonic Acts Festival, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2017 Brussels Art Film Festival, Brussels, Belgium
2017 Bandits-Mages, Bourges, France
2017 Torino International Film Festival, Turin, Italy

81 minutes / Color/B&W
English; French / English subtitles
Closed Captioned
Release: 2017

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This DVD is sold with a license for institutional use and Public Performance rights.

Subject areas:
Biography, Biology, Ecofeminism, Environment, Feminism, Gender Studies, LGBTQIA, Philosophy, Politics, Primatology, Science, Science Fiction, Social Studies, Technology, Technoscience, Women's Studies, Cultural Studies

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