“Humanimal – which animal do YOU have inside?“
Schoolteachers use to tell us that human beings originate from animals. The Yanomami in the North Amazonas region believe in the opposite: according to their beliefs, rainforest animals (yaropë) were part of an ancient human population that lost its human shape when the world began. They were humans with animal names - so to speak humanimals -, called yaroripë. They violated the rules of their world – something which is referred to in many myths of the Yanomami -, and thus transformed themselves one after the other, in hunting animals. This is why the Yanomami believe that all animals they chase in the forest are their former human predecessors. They also say that the animals themselves consider themselves still as human beings, as the real “inhabitants of the rainforest” (urihi theripë). This mythical connection of humans and animals can also be depicted in the fact that each Yanomami possesses a “double animal” (rixi) which is the essence of his soul.
Maybe you also have an animal which lies in you and which accompanies you? You might think about which animal could be the one you feel closest to. Create your own “animal soul” or your own “mythical animal”…Is it similar to you or does it have quite fantastic strengths which you might also want to possess? Almost something like an invisible friend.
Together with your friends you might also want to think about in which language to speak to your animal soul. Finally, humans and animals don’t speak the same language. And what does it mean that part of you lives in the woods? Which kinds of dangers are to be found there? The forest can be cut down, hunters might chase you, trees dies of pollution, visitors leave their garbage in the forest in which YOU then have to live. And how would your “double animal” feel if living with your family as a pet, or maybe as a farm animal? Would you want it to be a circus attraction, or to live in a zoo?
The thought that we all – humans, animals, plants – are connected with each other, is just fascinating. This is how the Yanomami see it. Could you imagine this? And with who and in which way are you connected in your world?
In his story “Dog’s Heart”, the Russian writer Michail Bulgakow tries to imagine how it feels when an animal converts itself into a human being. The street dog Bello gradually turns into a human being, loses its hair, grows up, walks upright, and starts to talk…
In your movie or on your poster, you can use anything that might occur to you in relation to this subject. Wild beasts, unicorns, dragons … it can deal with your desires, fears and wildest dreams. There are no restrictions of any kind to your fantasy!