We Wear Clothes to Become Human. But What Does It Mean to Be Human? A Lecture by Filomena Silvano

Lectures  /  CriticalThinking  /  20 Nov 2021
Published: 18.11.2021

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Why do we wear clothes? To become human. This is usually the accepted answer. The issue is to know what to become human means. In the so-called traditional societies, the metamorphosis hasn’t severed our connection with other living beings, but it has in what we call the modern world.

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What has changed with the emergence of the modern body was the internal (and universal) logic of identity construction processes in which the body is inserted. This has resulted in greater mindfulness leading us to apprehend our bodies as something exterior (my body) we can shape, a product of our own will (and power). Are we now facing a turning point? Everything points to that. We still don’t know how to, but we´re trying to reconnect with the entities with which we share Earth’s delicate living crust. The Covid crisis has shown us that either we share our existence with the other beings or we won’t exist at all. We have yet to know how to reinvent our bodies within this new position of mere holobionts.

When: 20 November, Saturday, 4 pm.

Filomena Silvano (Marinha Grande, 1960) is an anthropologist, professor at the Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa (NOVA FCSH) and member of the Centro em Rede em Antropologia (CRIA-NOVA FCSH). In her work, she establishes a relationship between issues of identity and the study of space, material culture and cultural expression. Filomena Silvano joined several research teams and worked with the film director João Pedro Rodrigues on four documentaries. She is the author of the books«Territórios da Identidade», «Antropologia do Espaço», «De casa em casa: sobre um encontro entre etnografia e cinema» and «Antropologia da Moda» (in