Empathy and Feelings in Animals: Kati Roover in conversation with Karsten Brensing

event photo
Kati Roover, Foto: Finnish National Gallery/Pirje Mykkänen +++ Karsten Brensing, Foto: privat

ONLINE TALK in English with live caption.

The talk will be streamed live via YouTube. It will be possible to ask Kati Roover and Karsten Brensing questions via the chat function. Please find the link in the column on the left!


When the songs of humpback whales were recorded for the first time in 1970, it evoked a particularly special fascination and brought about the realisation that consciousness exists beyond humans. The video work Salt of My Eyes (2020/2021) by the artist Kati Roover, which is currently being shown at KINDL, is an attempt to get closer to the soul- and life-world of these mysterious creatures, which are being increasingly damaged and destroyed by human intervention. How animals think and feel is also the focus of marine biologist, television journalist and former research diver Karsten Brensing’s work, as well as the title of one of his children’s books. For him, feeling compassion is the crowning glory of all the senses – and by no means reserved for humans alone.

Karsten Brensing (born 1967 in Erfurt) is a German marine biologist, behavioural scientist and author. He campaigns for a better understanding of animals as a scientific expert and the author of popular science books. Brensing studied biology in Göttingen and specialised in marine biology at the University of Kiel. For his doctoral thesis in behavioural biology at the FU Berlin he researched the interactions between humans and dolphins in Florida and Israel, including in dolphin therapy. Brensing is currently working on a new book about the animal past of humans.

Kati Roover (born 1982 in Estonia, lives in Helsinki) works across multiple disciplines and approaches the changes in her environment with poetic imagination. Roover combines her studies with different perspectives – for example, the interaction between humans and non-human beings, the natural sciences, ecological and decolonial thinking, mindful listening, mythical storytelling, new feminist materialism, and essayistic documentary films. She works with moving images, sound, photography, text, and installations.

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