Cat Colonies

material Audio stories about animals in Berlin

A black wooden box with a metal grate with an open hatch has been placed outside. Two stones are leaning against the box to keep it open; inside is a water bowl. In the background there are three chairs in front of a wall sprayed with graffiti.

Feeding station at Katzenschutz-AG in Berlin Pankow. Strays are fed in the trap so that they get used to it. (Image: Anne Hoffmann.)

Cat Colonies by Anne Hoffmann

An audio piece from the project seminar “Animal Topographies” held at the Institute for Cultural Studies at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and run by Britta Lange and Mareike Vennen (summer semester 2021).

Animal topographies are site-specific explorations that view places where animals have played a special role in the past or present: spaces where animals are kept, and places that they have occupied. The audio stories that can be heard here started with theoretical and historical examinations of urban animal topographies and different forms of movement, tracing historical and current routes. The auditive hunt for clues leads through Berlin sites both known and unknown, where it explores relationships between humans and animals.

Who knows where the wild cats live? Anne Hoffmann sets out on the trail of Berlin’s street cats and asks where they hide and gather, whom they belong to, and who they bother. She finds out that metropolitan habitats are becoming scarce – and not just for humans. Talks with staff at the Berlin Animal Shelter and a visit to a cat colony in Berlin-Pankow invite listeners to give more thought to how we want to coexist with others in this city.1

Other audio pieces tell the stories of Where the Rats Live, Dead Animals, Berlin’s Border Dogs and Haunting Cattle.

  1. You are listening to an interview with Beate Kaminski, Press Officer of the Berlin Animal Shelter; Michael Breest, Animal Welfare Consultant at the Berlin Animal Shelter; and Andrea Damitz, Volunteer at Katzenschutz-AG.
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