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anthropomorphism

Winners of the 2019 Best Anthropomorphic Artwork Awards

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Commission for SammyTheTanuki, by Ira-ArnThe winners of the 2019 Best Anthropomorphic Artwork Awards have been announced! There are too many wonderful pieces to show here, so if you have the time, check out the complete list in their Google doc. (Some mild NSFW content.)

The judge's choice winner for 2019 is "Commission for SammyTheTanuki" by Ira-Arn!

And the people's choice winner, which beat the other contenders by a wide margin, is
"Painters" by BubbleWolf.

The other two finalists were "Wildflower" by Neonhorns, and "Adventure awaits!" by Hitmore. There were four runners-up to this category, and over twenty contenders on top of those! A special merit award was given to "Courage on Two Wheels", in honor of Dogbomb.

It's almost time for the 2019 Best Anthropomorphic Artwork Awards!

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Art by Ilya Royz.When it comes to furry artwork, I love to see creativity in detail, mood, backgrounds, world-building and species. I don't follow specific artists, and the high-quality stuff is scattered all over the place, so most of the time I rely on stumbling across artwork I like by accident. Or I find an artist on Fur Affinity who's very good, look at their favorites, and explore sideways. So it's a nice surprise at this time of year to be reminded of the Best Anthropomorphic Artwork Awards, which gives me a fresh starting-point from which to discover new works!

Decolonizing the anthro-animal: Furry fandom, speculative fiction, and the need for newer directions

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The taxidermy of Walter Potter (1835-1918).Anthropomorphic animals have been a means through which we can think about and examine queerness, abject bodies and forms. However, it can be argued that furry fandom has relied on animals under the meanings that western, white culture imagines them to have. This essay offers a critique on how furry fandom, at this current point in time, needs to look for newer directions, inclusive of rupturing the animal concept as we know and think of it right now. Some possible directions include ideas from Indigenous literature and post-colonial identities.

Winners of the 2018 Ursa Major Awards

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The winners of the 2018 Ursa Major Awards have been announced at AnthrOhio - it's been a busy month for awards in the fandom. Lions and tigers coyotes and (now) bears, oh my!

This year's winners and runners-up (listed in descending numbers of votes) are...

Voting starts for the 2018 Ursa Major Awards

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The Ursa Major Awards logo.The 2018 Ursa Major Awards voting window has been opened! Send them your e-mail address, and you can vote for any of the nominations in 13 categories. Voting closes on Sunday, March 31. The winners will be announced at AnthrOhio 2019 (May 23–26).

Please re-post this announcement if you're on an active furry message forum or social media site!

This year's nominees are...

Ursa Major Awards 2018 - Nominations are open until Feb. 16, 2019

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The Ursa Major Awards logo.It's time to nominate the contenders for the 2018 Ursa Major Awards! You can send in your nominations until February 16, 2019. We'll see which of them get onto the final ballot in March, when voting opens, and the winners will be announced at AnthrOhio in late May.

If you really liked something in 2018 that had anthropomorphic content, either inside or outside the fandom, you can nominate up to five things in each category! Nominations are completely optional - you can even skip entire categories. All you need to do is go to the nominations page, click where it says "Enroll", and give it a valid email address. You'll be emailed a code, and you can use that to log in and fill out the nomination form.

Winners of the 2018 Best Anthropomorphic Artwork Awards

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The Awards' Twitter icon.The results are in for the 2018 Best Anthropomorphic Artwork Awards! I'm going to summarize the results below, but if you want the complete version with thumbnails of all the artwork, take a look at the official announcement posted to Google Docs.

Almost all the links go to FurAffinity pages, and they should open in new windows.

Get in on the 2018 Best Anthropomorphic Artwork Awards!

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Crossing, artwork from 2017 depicting a mammoth by Caraid and Nomax.I found out about the Best Anthropomorphic Artwork Awards only yesterday (Dec. 26th), and I wish I'd known about them sooner!

They're a labor of love to the fandom by Bahu, and I'm not even going to try guessing how many artists he must follow on an annual basis to narrow down 29,000 pieces of art to 875 contenders (3%), then working those numbers down even further. And that's not counting the People's Choice Award, which you can vote on before January 1st if you act quickly!

BBC's 'Why Factor' talks anthro animals with Cambridge furs

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BBC World Service Why Factor: Animals Are Us Journalist Maria Margaronis interviewed furry fans at a Cambridge Furs meet last month for next week's episode of The Why Factor, a programme exploring "the extraordinary and hidden histories behind everyday objects and actions" through the voices of those involved.

In stories, cartoons, advertisements and our everyday lives, we project human thoughts and emotions onto animals—and claim their strength and style for ourselves in the brand names of cars and cosmetics. Why do we do that, and what do we get out of it? Can we ever know what animals really feel? And are we as different from other species as we like to imagine? Maria Margaronis meets the furry fandom, who put on “fursonas” and cartoonlike animal costumes to meet and socialise. Neuroscientist Bella Williams upends some assumptions about animal brains and explains how to read a mouse’s facial expression; children’s author Michael Rosen sportcasts an insect race. Farmer Helen Reeve reflects on how she feels about eating her own cows. And historian Harriet Ritvo poses a thornier question: what makes our species think we are secure in our dominance over the natural world?

The 18-minute show "Animals Are Us?", which received input from furry artists, fursuiters, fursuit-builders and other fans, is to be broadcast on the BBC World Service on Friday 24 at 18:32 and 23:32 GMT (EDT+4, BST-1), with re-broadcasts on Sunday (21:32) and Monday (04:32, 12:32).

Update (23 April): A four-minute clip featuring several furs is available (transcript below).

Update 2 (24 April): The full episode has been published. There is no additional content featuring furries, but you may find the rest interesting, as it's all about anthropomorphism.

Review: 'The Northern Approach', by Jim Galford

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The Northern ApproachThis is book 4 of The Fall of Eldvar by Jim Galford. I reviewed book 1, In Wilder Lands, here in March 2012; book 2, Into the Desert Wilds, in November 2012, and book 3, Sunset of Lantonne, in February 2014.

The first two are a two-part subseries, “the wilding story arc”, within the larger saga of The Fall of Eldvar. Sunset of Lantonne is a standalone adventure. The Northern Approach, which debuts at Rocky Mountain Fur Con 2014 this month, continues roughly where both Sunset of Lantonne and Into the Desert Wilds end. The planned book 5, Bones of the Empire, will wrap up and complete the series.

What this means is that it is assumed the reader is familiar with the events in at least Sunset of Lantonne. The Northern Approach begins almost a year after the fall of Lantonne at its climax; but in terms of the action it follows immediately, without any synopsis.

Eldvar is a world of humans, elves, dwarfs, talking dragons and more, including wildings which are anthropomorphic animals. The story’s focus on the wildings is why the novels of The Fall of Eldvar qualify for review on Flayrah.

Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, August 2014, trade paperback $13.99 (432 pages), Kindle $2.99.

Review: 'Sunset of Lantonne', by Jim Galford

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Sunset of Lantonne This is Book 3 of The Fall of Eldvar. I reviewed Book 1, In Wilder Lands, here in March 2012, and Book 2, Into the Desert Wilds, in November 2012. Those were a two-part subseries, “the wildling story arc”, within the larger saga of The Fall of Eldvar. Galford said on his website that Book 3 would feature new characters, an elf and a human; and no wildlings (furries). Yet Darryl Taylor’s cover for Sunset of Lantonne clearly features Raeln, a seven-foot tall wolf wildling, with Ilarra, his elf “sister” by his side. Did Galford lie?

Not exactly. The main characters in Sunset of Lantonne are Ilarra, the young elf wizard-in-training, and Therec, the older human Turessian necromancer. Raeln is only a supporting character – but you woudn’t guess it from this cover. Or from the first chapter, which plays up Ilarra and Raeln. Galford debuted Sunset of Lantonne at Rocky Mountain Fur Con 2013. Featuring a furry on the cover was a good marketing move.

And a justified one, if it will get furry fans to read Sunset of Lantonne. It is an excellent novel; Raeln is a memorable character even if he is not the star; and there are plenty of wildling incidental characters. Read it; you will not be disappointed. Also read Jim Galford’s website, especially if you have not read In Wilder Lands and Into the Desert Wilds yet. It contains a tremendous amount of background information on this series.

Seattle, WA, CreateSpace, August 2013, trade paperback $14.99 (545 pages), Kindle $3.99. Edited by Tricia Kristufek.

Animation: 'Planes' vs. 'Wings'

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Dusty, from 'Planes'What is the difference between Planes and Wings? Quality.

On August 9, Planes hit the movie theaters, while Wings hit the Walmart video bins. Jerry Beck has the story and a trailer on his Animation Scoop website. YouTube has the complete Wings, but in the original Russian.

What is the similarity between them? They both feature anthropomorphized airplanes. What is the difference? Quality. This may seem like an ironic comment considering that most of the reviews of Planes criticize it for its lack of the quality of Pixar’s Cars (despite the Disney label, it was subcontracted to Prana Studios in Mumbai for production), but check out the Wings trailer for yourself. Wings is vastly inferior to Planes. Technically, anyhow. Plotwise? Ehhh…

Furry con surveyed on porn, fantasy, pets, politics & bronies

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International Anthropomorphic Research Project logoResults have been released from an Anthropomorphic Research Project survey of 455 furs taken at Furry Fiesta 2013.

  • 78% of females and 96% of males report viewing furry porn. Both groups underestimated both figures by 8-12%.
  • Increasing furriness indicated a tendency to use fantasy for various purposes, including escapism, but didn't indicate blurring of reality, or an inability to have fun, self-motivate, fulfil needs, socialize, or cope with problems without fantasy.
  • Female furs had less sexual roleplay, owned less pornography, viewed it less frequently, and felt it had less influence on their joining the fandom. They also saw pornography as more openly discussed within the fandom.
  • Furries overestimated the positivity of both male and female furs towards furry porn: males tended to be positive or mixed, while over 20% of females had a negative view. 51% of furs preferred porn over general furry artwork; 17% had the opposite view. ~55% saw non-furry pornography in a negative light; some males only view furry porn.
  • Non-brony furs rated bronies less positively (50) than furries (79) or non-furs (61).
  • Furries are very liberal on social matters, but more moderate on economic topics.
  • Therians anthropomorphise animals more than non-therian furs; those strongly identifying as furries gave human characteristics to both regular and stuffed animals.

Around half of those participating chose to join the group's three-year longitudinal study.

On [adjective][species]: JM revisits Dr. Gerbasi's original studyNuka responds

A famous experiment in anthropomorphism and psychology

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Harlow's monkey clinging to a terrycloth dollSorry to interrupt fun stories about comics and cartoons, but the Anthropomorphic Research Project story suggests some want to know what furryness means. Let me throw in a topic sharing an abstract concept with the fandom.

Anthropomorphism is often imagined from our human point of view (attaching human characteristics to something non-human). But the concept can exist apart from ourselves, when animals see themselves in objects. The way it works for them can reveal more about us.

Harry Harlow was a psychologist who experimented with monkeys. In the 1950's and 60's, he gave his subjects "surrogate" mothers built from different objects, to see how they would behave, and learn about care-giving and companionship in social and cognitive development. PBS says about his famous experiment:

He took infant monkeys away from their real mothers, giving them instead two artificial mothers, one model made of wire and the other made of cloth. The wire model was outfitted with a bottle to feed the baby monkey. But the babies rarely stayed with the wire model longer than it took to get the necessary food. They clearly preferred cuddling with the softer cloth model, especially if they were scared. (When the cloth model had the bottle, they didn't go to the wire model at all.)

Animated anthropomorphic features in 2013

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The Cartoon Brew has a preview list of animated features due out in 2013; at least those announced so far – some with trailers.