Satzwende: Anke Bär (1/2) [English]

© Anke Bär

If we break down our existence to the smallest components that make up our human bodies, we end up with atoms. Only about twenty different basic building materials make up our human bodies. The common redstart, which just sailed through my field of vision as I write, is also made up of these basic building materials. In that sense, we all share everything with each other, humans and animals, even rocks, the ocean and desert winds in the Sahara Desert. We are made up of quadrillions of atoms that have also been part of something else multiple times. From dinosaurs, sunflowers, crocodiles, gnarled trees, rivers, clouds in the sky, to even the Big Bang... Nothing is lost in this world. Everything happens in cycles. A comforting thought.

How then did we become so alienated from this relationship and often experience ourselves as separate from nature with all its life forms? As powerful and powerless at the same time?

The discourses about the so-called relationship between man and animal and our actual behavior towards animals are bursting with contradictions. If only because there are not "the humans" and "the animals". What are we actually talking about here? We all are so different. So many diverse relationships are possible between different people and different animals. Different animals in the sense of animal species, but also in the sense of unique entities. Are all cats the same? Certainly not! Just as all ravens aren’t alike and mosquitoes aren’t all similar.

Our view of "our fellow beings" is and remains impaired by our all too human perspective. We can merely interact, observe, and perceive with our human senses, respect, perhaps love. Using the concepts and intelligence available to us we can strive to understand with whom we are engaging with. Awareness of the astonishing essential transformation of these concepts that occurs over the course of decades with its scientific discoveries, and what often is formulated as ultimate truths, are constantly outdated or revised. This includes the animal images in our society.

One thing is certain: we as humans can never truly speak for animals. For whales? For dogs? For scabies mites? Or can we?

Translation by Brigid Guinan

Porträt von Anke Bär
© Cosima Hanebeck

Anke Bär

ist Illustratorin, Autorin und Kulturwissenschaftlerin und gibt im Rahmen von Lehraufträgen, Workshops und Schulkooperationen Kurse für Erwachsene und Kinder. Sie empfindet es als großes Geschenk, dass sie in ihrem beruflichen Tun verschiedene künstlerische Ausdrucksformen und auch wissenschaftliche Arbeit und Lehrtätigkeit miteinander verbinden und immer wieder neue Herausforderungen aufgreifen kann. Zuletzt erschien ihr Kinderbuch Kirschendiebe oder als der Krieg vorbei war sowie Divertimento: Kirschendiebe, eine Lesung aus dem Buch in Zusammenarbeit mit den Bremer Philharmonikern auf CD.

Zum Autorinnenprofil von Anke Bär