Since John Berger’s 1980 publication “Why Look at Animals?” studies of animals in visual culture have steadily advanced, as evident in the 2015 anthology Animal Life and the Moving Image (BFI, Michael Lawrence and Laura McMahon, editors). Driven by threats of a “sixth extinction” caused by anthropogenic climate change, studies of humans’ relationships with other living beings have attained an increasing urgency. Since Berger’s work, a number of monographs, journal articles, and conference papers question how non-human perspectives and representations might provoke new ways of thinking about cinema. Issue 14 of The Cine-Files builds on that work, featuring eleven scholarly essays and five videographic studies of animals in the cinema.
Not only are we delighted to present this work in an open-access academic forum, we are also excited to showcase the particular possibilities of audio-visual essays on this topic, again building on some of the excellent, but as yet relatively rare, existing animal screen studies in sounds and moving images.
—Tracy Cox-Stanton and Catherine Grant, Editors of Issue 14