Skin Flick video 13 minutes 30 seconds Adham Faramawy 2019 1800x1200 c center
Talks & Seminars

Isn’t Bite Also Touch? An event on Contagion and Desire

Join us at Spike Island for a dynam­ic hybrid ses­sion includ­ing films, small group con­ver­sa­tions and live read­ings from artists and writers.

What does it mean to desire beyond the “human”? How might ideas of decomposition and soil regeneration expand our notions of reproduction and remediation beyond the logics of the human? Where do we draw the line between a symbiotic relationship and a parasitic one? How can we use speculative visual and textual practices to respond to the Earth’s current distressing conditions? These are some of the questions posed in the second public reading group of the Body-Forest programme.

This will be a dynamic, hybrid session including films, small group conversations and live readings from artists and writers including Adham Faramawy, Paul Samuel White, Octavia Butler and Jenny Hval. These works will be brought into an open conversation with the work of feminist thinker Maria Puig de la Bellacasa who explores how an intersectional embrace of breakdown and decay can lead to regenerative, ecosocially situated acts of care amidst contagion, exploitation and toxicity. Together we will traverse through multispecies entanglements of contagion, aging and decay, monstrosity and speculative fictions of polymorphous desire.

All participants will be sent a PDF with optional readings in advance of the event. We encourage you to support your local booksellers by buying copies of the books online via

The event will begin with a screening of selected film clips and an introduction to some of the key themes in the reading extracts. We will then break off into smaller groups for discussion, moving outside to enjoy the evening (weather permitting). The café will be open throughout the evening.