November 15, 2013

Critical Animalia now available online!

Critical Animalia now available online!



the taxonomic kingdom comprising all animals

Twenty-thirteen was a fruitful year for us at Critical Animals. We celebrated 10 years of the symposium with our biggest program ever (comprising panels, performances, exhibitions and one helluva party), while also realising our ambitious dream of producing a publication to mark this milestone – Critical Animalia: a decade between disciplines.

It takes a lot of things to keep a small interdisciplinary creative research symposium going for ten years. Patience, blind faith, a sense of humour and so on. But most importantly, it takes the on-going enthusiasm of hundreds of participants who by sharing their fascinating work with others have kept the Critical Animals community alive.

Critical Animalia is dedicated to all those characters who have played a role in our journey over the years.

With that in mind, we are excited to share Critical Animalia with you here. Launched at our 2013 festival, you can buy a copy of the journal via Paypal. Not only is a monument to the brains trust of Critical Animals past and present, it’s also a beautiful object in its own right. Just to show you that we love you, you can also download a free PDF version of it too.

To provide you with a little taste of Critical Animalia’s top-notch content, we’d like to share a poem written by one of CA’s past participants. In 2009 Australian poet Lou Smith performed a site-specific poetry reading at sunset on Newcastle Beach, which explored the politics of place and cultural memory. It being her hometown, we fell in love with the way that Lou’s poem portrays the unique combination of things that Newie is to us all. It has been a wonderful home for our strange festival.


The Hoons

The hoons cruise in hotted-up cars

Friday, Saturday, Sunday nights

round the Foreshore, elbows out,

hair polished back

they lap Fort Scratchley

daffodil yellow & traffic red

donuts of the East End

they park at Nobbys’

bonnets up, doors open

bass pummelling

fold-out chairs—unfolding

watching as the moon lights the harbour

and the view of Woon-a-tee

where the old hydraulic power station,

we tried sneaking into

glows under orange-hued spotlights

forgotten, Satanic some say…

after midnight, they clog up Maccas’ Drive-Thru

near SJs & The Castle

hoon up Hunna St


and we yell back


and from them,


drag race on Kooragang Island

the road—wide & straight

past the fertiliser plant

& the woodchip pile

& the mangroves

rich in riversalt


Woon-a-tee – place of crabs, Carrington

Awabakal word and meaning sourced from John Maynard, Ed. Awabakal Word Finder and Dreaming Stories Companion. Southport, QLD: Keeiara Press, 2004.


Apology: The print-version of our humble publication included a typo in the final line of The Hoons. Please refer to the online and PDF copies of this publication for the accurate version. Many thanks to Lou Smith for her understanding.