The festival has refused to bow to pressure to fire one of its presenters who sparked outrage after calling sex with animals “the last taboo”.
Historian Joanna Bourke will discuss the morality behind ‘animal lovers’ and ‘zoosexuality’ at the Sydney Festival of Dangerous Ideas on 17 September.
The planned appearance sparked a public backlash, with NSW Arts Minister Ben Franklin joining the chorus and calling for the event to be postponed.
Festival curator Simon Longstaff, who is executive director of the Center for Ethics, insisted the conversation would continue, saying the public outcry was unwarranted.
“To suggest that this is somehow promoting sex with animals is like saying that a historian who covers the history of cannibalism is promoting cannibalism,” he said.
Historian Joanna Bourke will discuss the morality behind ‘animal lovers’ and ‘zoosexuality’ at the Sydney Festival of Dangerous Ideas on 17 September
Festival curator Simon Longstaff, who is executive director of the Center for Ethics, insists the conversation will continue, saying the public outcry was unwarranted
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Mr Longstaff said Professor Bourke did not support animal husbandry and that the upcoming conversation had been “grossly misconstrued”.
In 2020, Professor Bourke published a book called Loving Animals: On Animalism, Zoophilia and Posthuman Love, which appears to have inspired her presentation at the festival.
The book tells about the bizarre relationship between humans and animals.
“Interspecies relationships can be complex, rich, and fulfilling” and “love for animals can inspire greater love for humans” are some quotes from the book.
Mr Longstaff said the book does not promote inhumanity and in fact reinforces the fact that it is dangerous, perverse and wrong.
“It takes a special mind to think that loving animals should include sex with animals,” he said.
Mr Longstaff was outraged after claiming the NSW arts minister had made no attempt to contact him about the event before publicly calling for it to be cancelled.
Mr Franklin said he wanted it to be scrapped during the 2GB debate on Thursday.
He also held a formal meeting with Create NSW on Friday and ordered them to contact the festival to pull the plug on the event.
Animal Justice Party MP Emma Hurst told Daily Mail Australia she was concerned by the professor’s comments
A man in Sydney’s west was charged with multiple counts of child abuse and zoophilia on Tuesday after police received a tip from a US-based team tasked with tracking suspected pedophiles.
Mr Longstaff described the New South Wales arts minister as a “censorship minister”.
Radio host Ben Fordham said he had forwarded a link to the event to the New South Wales Arts Minister’s office.
“Can I just say this, animals have no choice in the matter,” he said.
“So in this day and age, when we focus on the word ‘consent’, I don’t know what’s the point of talking about this subject when at the beginning and end of the argument you’re talking about the issue of consent and animal cruelty.”
Mr. Franklin’s office sent a statement to the radio station demanding that the festival be canceled.
“Minister Franklin supports independent artistic expression, but creative works must meet the expectations of the community, and it is clear that The Last Taboo does not meet those expectations,” the statement said.
The session will present the modern history of human-animal sex and examine the “changing meanings” of bestiality and zoophilia (pictured, event bio)
2GB Radio’s Ben Fordham (pictured) said on Thursday he had forwarded a link to the event to NSW Arts Minister Ben Franklin’s office.
Animal Justice Party MP Emma Hurst told Daily Mail Australia she was concerned by the professor’s comments.
“Brutalism is sexual violence against animals. Although I haven’t seen the full performance proposed for FODI, it is very disturbing that the announcement mentions “love” for animals. Cruelty to animals is not love,” she said.
“Many animals are injured and some die from the animalistic acts – this is a grotesque form of animal cruelty. We must recognize that people who harm animals are a danger to society as a whole.
“While conversations about these issues are important, they should not be seen as a form of entertainment and should acknowledge the seriousness of the issues.”
Mr Longstaff said Professor Bourke did not support the atrocity and that the upcoming talk had been “grossly misconstrued”.
A man in Sydney’s west was charged with multiple counts of child abuse and cruelty on Tuesday after police received a tip from a US-based team tasked with tracking suspected pedophiles.
They located and seized a mobile phone, which later revealed files allegedly containing child abuse material, highly indecent child abuse conversations and indecent material, which police allege were created by the man.
As a result of the charges, 19 dogs allegedly kept in cruel conditions were also removed from the property.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Mr Franklin and Ms Bourke for comment.