Haunting Cattle

material Audio stories about animals in Berlin

Photography of a street corner with a street sign with two street names: "Am Viehof" and "Viehtrift". In the foreground is a green hedge and in the background is a brick building.

The street signs still remind of the former abattoir in Berlin. (Image: Sophie-Marie Kaatsch.)

Haunting Cattle by Sophie-Marie Kaatsch

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 have spent time, places to which they have been brought, and places that they have occupied. The audio stories that can be heard here start with theoretical and historical examinations of urban animal topographies and different forms of movement by looking at historical traces and current routes. The auditive hunt for clues leads through Berlin sites both known and unknown, where it explores relationships between humans and animals.

From abattoir to luxury neighbourhood? Sophie-Marie Kaatsch takes a walk through the former premises of the old abattoir in Berlin-Pankow. She explores how the area has changed over time and what gentrification is still changing today. Voices from the present and the past have their say, combining to create an acoustic portrait of the site and following the ghosts of the abattoir.1

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

  1. You are listening to excerpts from Alfred Döblin. Berlin Alexanderplatz. Frankfurt a.M.: Fischer Verlag, 2020: 151; Wolbt: “Der städtische Central-Viehhof in Berlin”. Illustrierte Zeitung no. 2003. 19.11.1881: 445.
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