Just Wondering

Creativity, 2020, Grantee Link >

The Just Wondering collective received a grant for “We fly, we crawl, we swim,” an animated video essay that raises and responds to some difficult questions about how other-than-human animals might become political actors with a voice in the current climate crisis. The purpose of the video essay, Just Wondering wrote, was “to bring to the forefront a critique of anthropocentrism in the impending climate crisis, as well as to ask creative questions regarding how we could govern ourselves together with other earthlings.”

Since its launch, “We fly, we crawl, we swim” has been screened at numerous festivals and art exhibitions, both in Romania and internationally. It has been awarded Best Animation at the Kraków Vegan Film Festival (2021), Best of Fest at the Animalis Fabula Festival (2021) and Best Climate Action Short at the Vegan Film Festival (2021), among others.

Just Wondering has continued producing animated essays that blend critical theory with feeling—particularly the “dictionary of thinkers and concepts” playlist, which includes video-essays that highlight the work of various writers, often exploring their proposals from an antispeciesist framework. Some examples are videos on Paulo Freire’s critical pedagogy, Sue Donaldson & Will Kymlicka’s Zoopolis, and Matthew Calarco’s indistinction.

Just Wondering has collaborated with other activists/artists, for example working on a script to create an exploration and commemoration of a deadly pig pandemic, and the cooperative has held a workshop on critical animal studies that resulted in a short film. Just Wondering has also developed a short, yet comprehensive animated essay on antispeciesism, from an intersectional perspective in Romanian, the collective’s native language. Almost all  essays are subtitled in both Romanian and English and many scripts can be read on Just Wondering’s website.

You can read an interview with Just Wondering  conducted by Gauri Kasarla, a 2023 CAF Navab Fellow from Columbia University studying Art History and Visual Art, here.