Hande Gurses, “Standing Together: Human-Animal Encounters in Istanbul and Athens
Hande Gurses (SFU) offers a comparative study of two documentaries that focus on the stray animals in the two neighboring cities of Athens and Istanbul. Kedi (2016) follows the lives of seven stray cats living in different neighborhoods of Istanbul through interviews conducted with the people who care for them. As such the film offers an insight into the politics of urban life and addresses issues including homelessness, gentrification, and urban poverty. Dogs of Democracy (2017) in a similar vein, depicts the lives of stray dogs of Athens, particularly focusing on Loukanikos, a devoted dog member of the protests against the government’s austerity measures following the 2008 Greek financial crisis. The two documentaries offer examples of non anthropocentric solidarity by focusing on the multi-faceted connection between human and non-human inhabitants of the urban space.