Uproar over the ‘Festival of Dangerous Ideas’.
‘THE LAST TABOO’
A renowned professor’s upcoming Sydney talk about the ‘ethics of bestiality’ has ignited debate across Australia, with a clash between the art world and government also starting in the process.
The description of Ms Bourke’s controversial session states that while bestiality is ‘generally’ regarded as abhorrent, the subject is still depicted in a number of books, films, plays, paintings and photographs.
The historian plans to present a modern history of sex between humans and animals and will invite audience members to look at the ‘changing meanings’ of bestiality and zoophilia and the ethics of ‘animal loving’.
She is the author of the book, Loving Animals: On Bestiality, Zoophilia and Post-Human Love.
“It is only in very recent years that some people have begun to undermine the absolute prohibition on zoosexuality,” the speaker is quoted on the website.
The festival, to be held at Redfern next month, has been touted as Australia’s original ‘festival of provocateurs’ with speakers tasked with ‘holding uncomfortable ideas up to the light’.
Are her arguments dangerous, perverted or simply wrongheaded?
These are the questions that Australians are hotly debating, as the government hits back.
NSW Arts Minister Ben Franklin and his staff did not contact the Festival of Dangerous Ideas before issuing a public statement demanding it cancel a planned talk on bestiality — a move that has outraged organisers.
Literary critics and public intellectuals have blasted NSW Arts Minister Ben Franklin’s attempt to cancel the talk, describing it an “overreaction” and a “throwback to 1950s censorship“.
It is once again here we see where the bounds of freedom can take us with no moral framework to restrain it.
Outraged Australians took to social media to lash festival organisers for allowing a presentation they argued was intellectualising animal abuse, while supporters say freedom of speech is essential.
Discussion has already been taking place in the TOTT Discord Server over this one.
User Fatebringer commented: “…the conspiracy here is not in Joanna Bourke, but rather in the architecture of the human economy and society that leads intellectuals like Bourke to explore ridiculous ideas like raping animals under the guise of ‘cutting edge research’ for ‘human progress’..”
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