Of Animacy Reading Group: Water

Image Credit: Sam Smith, Nearness (2019)

Stourhead House, Stourton, Warminster, Wiltshire BA12 6QD


Wednesday 31 July 2019
Opening Hours: 9am -6pm
Booking recommended
Contact Nella: [email protected]

Of Animacy Reading Group, led by curator Nella Aarne, gathers at Stourhead over the summer months in conjunction with artist Sam Smith’s exhibition Nearness. The reading group is always open to all and does not require prior knowledge of the subjects discussed.

Resonating with Smith’s new video project, produced in direct response to the ecosystems of Stourhead, Of Animacy presents a selection of texts that encourage us to think through, and think with, the boundless array of beings that sustain life on earth. The four gatherings, each dedicated to the collective reading of a specific text, focus on material components that contribute to ecological processes: water, minerals, plants and animals.

In July, Of Animacy convenes to discuss scholar Astrida Neimanis’ notion of hydrofeminism. Neimanis reminds us of how we are all bodies of water — how water, as a generator of life, not only constitutes and sustains us but also connects us to other bodies of water. Bringing together feminist, environmental and decolonial thought, she calls us to recognise our responsibility to protect and care for our aqueous companions.


Astrida Neimanis,'Hydrofeminism: Or, On Becoming a Body of Water’, Undutiful Daughters: Mobilizing Future Concepts, Bodies and Subjectivities in Feminist Thought and Practice, eds. Henriette Gunkel, Chrysanthi Nigianni and Fanny Söderbäck (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), pp. 85-99

Excerpts of the text will be read together during the session to support open discussion

For access to and further information on the readings, please email [email protected]


Of Animacy fosters learning through open discussion in a democratic space, with an aim to recognise vital alliances for our daily life and political thought.

Reading the selected text in advance is recommended but not necessary. Printed copies will be available at the gathering and excerpts of the text will be read together to support open discussion.

For access to and further information on the monthly readings, please email [email protected]

Of Animacy Reading Group was first convened by curator Nella Aarne at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London in 2017. The gatherings focus on feminist writings on human and non-human agents in the material world, spanning philosophy and natural and human sciences.

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