History of Others is a large scale art and research project by visual artist Terike Haapoja and writer Laura Gustafsson. The large scale, long term project focuses on the problems that arise from anthropocentric world view, and seeks to open paths for more inclusive notions of society. By imagining histories according to other species, looking at how language enables othering, or mapping out the long history of dehumanisation History of Others brings forth questions regarding the impact of biotechnologies, industrialisation or systems of knowledge production such as museums on the lives of humans and other animals.
The research is conducted through interviews and collaborations with professionals from the fields of ethology, cognitive sciences, activism and art and culture practitioners, and is manifested through exhibitions, publications, performances, interventions and seminars on the topic. The project is structured as continuous project, leading towards a large-scale, encyclopedic installation exhibition The Museum of the History of Others.
The first part of the project, The Museum of The History of Cattle, first exhibited in Helsinki, 2013 and currently available for touring, was awarded with Kiila prize for socially engaged art. The publication History According to Cattle was released in June 2015 by Punctum Books, Into publications and History of Others. The second project, The Trial, a participatory performance on the legal personhood of non-human animals was commissioned by Baltic Circle festival and had it’s premiere in November 2014 in Helsinki. The third project, a large scale installation and lecture series Museum of Nonhumanity opened 1.9.2016 in Helsinki and is open in Italy and Norway in the summer of 2017. History of Others is the visual artist of the year 2016 for Flow Festival. The new work Embrace Your Empathy! will be shown at the festival 18-20.8. 2016. History of Others received the Finnish State art council’s Media Art Award in 2016.
Upcoming publications include Museum of Nonhumanity (2017) and The Trial Notes (working title), a publication on the legal personhood of non-humans (planned for 2018).
The work of The History of Others has been supported by:
Koneen säätiö, Taiteen edistämiskeskus, Suomen Kulttuurirahasto, the Finnish welfare state, and numerous human and non-human friends.