Braverman, Irus 2013 “Zooland: The Institution of Captivity” reviewed by Franklin Ginn

ZoolandIrus Braverman, Zooland: The Institution of Captivity, Stanford University Press, Stanford, 2013, 280 pages, $24.95 paperback, ISBN 978-0-8047-8358-3

On 9 February 2014 a young giraffe named Marius was killed by bolt gun in Copenhagen Zoo. Marius’ body was dissected in front of a crowd comprised of young children, parents, and an international media throng – a public lesson in giraffe anatomy. His carcass was then fed to the lions. The zoo had deemed Marius surplus to requirements, since any of his future offspring would diminish, rather than enhance, the captive giraffe population’s genetic diversity. Like most Scandinavian zoos, Copenhagen holds that sexual reproduction is central to animal welfare and wellbeing, and prefers euthanasia of a few young animals to contraception for many (contraception having potentially debilitating side effects). Hence, a single giraffe was killed in the name of the genetic diversity of his worldwide kin, illustrating the inseparability of ‘good’ biopolitics (the power to make valued life live) and ‘bad’ biopolitics (the power to kill or let die in the name of other valued life) in the more-than-human world of the zoo. The central task of Irus Braverman’s Zooland is to understand how biopolitics take form within a relation of pastoral care in the zoo. Continue reading Franklin Ginn’s review here

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2 thoughts on “Braverman, Irus 2013 “Zooland: The Institution of Captivity” reviewed by Franklin Ginn

  1. stuartelden says:

    Reblogged this on Progressive Geographies and commented:

    Zooland reviewed at the Society and Space open site.

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