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What links us to the defunct is a regime of obligations and codes. We respect them. Probably because those who treat well the defunct have asked themselves the question: what will await me? But there is more to it than only treating well the corpse. Vinciane Despret found a great inventiveness in the way we treat the dead. An incredible talent and humor comes about in the homage ceremonies, people can suddenly write much better than normally. As a link with shrinking and expanding the human, we are shrunken facing our dead - it shows that we are not all that modern after all - and it also expands us because it shows us how sensible we are to ‘our invisibles’. According to Despret, the link with her work on our relations with animals, it that to say that the dead have a life, that people in the 21st century have a talent to speak to invisible beings, is also quite subversive. The second link is that we they are beings that need to be represented, who can’t speak for themselves.

expert

  • Vinciane Despret

date

21/11/2015

location

Musée de l’Homme, Paris

is a philosopher and researcher at the University of Liège. For about twenty years, she has been working on animals issues and relationships with the dead.

— INQUIRY: On becoming earthlings
— PRODUCTION: Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge No. 18
— EVENT: On becoming earthlings: dialogues and exercises in shrinking and expanding the human

is a philosopher and researcher at the University of Liège. For about twenty years, she has been working on animals issues and relationships with the dead.

— INQUIRY: On becoming earthlings
— PRODUCTION: Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge No. 18
— EVENT: On becoming earthlings: dialogues and exercises in shrinking and expanding the human

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