The Red Pangolin

by Diego Orihuela IbaƱez

The pangolin is one of the two species suspected of harboring the Covid19 mutation (the other being the bat). This animal is a starting point for a reflection on the stories behind the most trafficked mammal in the world. The pangolin manages to tell its story, a story of extractivism, pain and mystification. Parallel to the animal’s vision, the virus spreads easily by crossing human borders; the colour red appears as a marker of this global expansion. The history of the virus and the pangolin are not the same, but they find a space of interconnection in the red colour of the blood and the state of alert. This color is another starting point to think about the limits of knowledge and human agency, limits where precisely the pangolin and the virus exist in alternative ways to human history. The red pangolin is, then, the one that demands more stories that expand and diversify the human claim to have a single objective and credible narrative to look at the world and inhabit it.