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In this article, I argue that popular online animal videos during the coronavirus pandemic are emblematic of the political stakes of animal documentary in the era of climate change. Conceived in response to James Leo Cahill's 'A YouTube bestiary: Twenty-six theses on a post-cinema of animal attractions', I claim a broad public is currently navigating its hopes and fears over an oncoming posthuman future through differing deployments of what Cahill calls the 'animal attractions' of online videos. Comparing several recent examples, I analyze these images as documents of an era defined by interactions between humans and nonhumans (such as zoonotic diseases like COVID-19) and as fabulist visions of a future without human beings. Here, emptied aquariums embody the concerns of our current historical moment, evoking anxieties over environmental degradation and speculation about our unknown future.

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This page is a summary of: Abandoned aquariums: Online animal attractions during quarantine, Journal of Environmental Media, August 2020, Intellect,
DOI: 10.1386/jem_00026_1.
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