immigrants and animals

in 2012 i started to feel awkward about sitting around in studios staring at my attractive friends for hours. i started to question the ethics of sitting in a chair and prompting people to do things – even if what they did remained their own decision – until we found the thing that satisfied me and my vision. i wondered whether i was playing out my perversion as a career. from autumn 2012 immigrants and animals became a collaboration between myself and Mira Kautto.

immigrants and animals by Stephanie McMann Luxembourg Summer 2014

our work has been part of a continual investigation into how we can present our different female bodies together with agency on stage and why we might choose to parade ourselves in-front of a public in the first place. we rip off a lot of stuff we think is cool or really awful. i live in london and mira lives in helsinki.

 we worked together between 2010 and 2016 to make dances of resistance, considering the politics and perversities of our casual desires – and those projected onto us – in our research. building ever-more elaborate fantasies from 80s and 90s pop and rock songs. our practice includes meeting somewhere in the world, listening to music together, watching films and tv shows, buying matching shoes, eating, discussing, making crappy films, writing applications and dancing. other times we email.

this was an independent conceptual dance outfit and we didn’t want our critical context to be shaped by anyone else. DIY4eva. our website has closed. our old blog can be found here:

some things we did:

CUNST (2016)

A new work (that never happened). 2016eatyourheartout.

A feminist practice of multiplicity and subjective prayer.

Something like a shared prayer to the sound of a washing machine cleaning your dirty laundry.

Something of a science fiction, a creation of a feminist utopia through the technologies of our bodies.

A giving in to the theatrical space, the gap between being impacted every day by socio-political forces and running with fantasy.

Dancing on the ground of broken machines and a destroyed patriarchy.

CUNST will be multiple – a physical experience, a philosophical meditation, political statement and a collection of our worst ideas.


our last dance, 2015

Unprofessional Class

immigrants and animals’ unprofessional class for the self-proclaimed dancer who doesn’t give a fuck about being professional and just wants to keep dancing. this class is the most vague performance practice score. we are practicing being present. we are practicing existing. the idea is to share an ‘alternative’ practice that isn’t about getting better at anything other than being present and dancing as you want and we create a space that enables that.

come share in our practice which is basically fucking about for ages in a room, getting tired and calling it work. most likely there’ll be some karaoke.

we don’t believe that we have anything to teach but we would like to share the space with you. maybe we learn by keeping on going. work it out.

we will start at a later time than professional class usually does. there will be loud music and constant dancing – also some singing.

we would encourage non-professional people who want to dance to come also.

Laura Laura (2014-2016)

Laura Laura feels like a beginning of something clearer for us, a meeting between what we say we do, what we want to do and what we do. We both love this performance.

Laura Laura Visual Album Track 5

Laura promo

Chisenhale Dance Space, London, September 2015 / Buzzcut, Glasgow, March 2015 / Goldsmiths University, London, March 2015 / The Lone Wolf, the Dark Horse and the Underdog, RichMix, London, January 2015 / Volksroom, Brussels, December 2014 / XS Festival, Kutomo, Turku, November 2014 / OuDance, Oulu, September 2014

William William (2012-2015)


We were not sure about the future of William. Or even who he was. We have performed him in different places and at different stages over the past four years and it seems he works best in clubs. 

William poster blue

William at Ehka


took place in peckham in september 2015.

a week-long alternative artists’ discussion.

SEX is an anti-festival and 24 hour artist retreat, a day-long working holiday. We want to make time to spend thinking about making art. The politics of presentation are something we constantly negotiate as freelance makers and instead of being public, performing, presenting or networking bodies we would like to invite other artists to spend time with us in a more intimate setting for discussing making, doing and being.

This is a call out for five artists to each spend one day and a night with us in a London flat from noon til noon to talk and think about doing, making and being. The project will take place over a period of six days. We want to undo the professional body with everyday ‘realness’ and small intimacies by hosting the discussion in an apartment, cooking meals together, having a sleepover, sharing food, stories, grievances and questions for 24 hours.

SEX is our third proposition in a series of things (events/happenings/workshops) that seek to undo what being ‘professional artists’ seems to demand from us as we feel this often compromises how we want to work, what we want to do and how we want to be in the world.

The Lone Wolf, the Dark Horse and the Underdog

A series of performance events curated by immigrants and animals that took place in the UK and Finland.

Turku, 2016

Looking down and backwards

Pony by immigrants and animals


films by <ninja_fairy> & __jazzfanboy85~’ (FI) Laura Puska (FI) Blythe Smith (FI)

Rich Mix, London, January 2015

Image credit Stephanie McMann and Jamila Johnson-Small

30 skanks Heart piece

featuring 30 Skanks a commission awarded to Zinzi Minott, Heart piece by Anna Torkell and Laura Laura. Images directly above by Katarzyna Perlak.

This was our first project supported by Arts Council England.


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