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In symbiosis

Lecture by Marta Segarra and dialogue with Gerard Ortín

Humanimal Encounters


In this session, Marta Segarra, research director at the CNRS-backed research unit Laboratoire d’Études de Genre et de Sexualité, will speak about how the western world’s prevailing belief in human exceptionality coexists with a fascination about hybridisation between human and non-human animals and she will dialogue with the artist and filmmaker Gerard Ortín about how this fascination manifests itself in the arts and sciences.

Whether in the form of metamorphosis, an especially abundant theme in Greek and Roman mythology, or whether it is about imaginary beings (but no less “real” for that) that combine human and non-human physical features, or that are sometimes fruit of the union between individuals of different species, hybridisation between human and non-human animals has always been a fascinating idea. These hybrid beings are frequently seen as monstrous and threatening, like the wolf-man and panther-woman. If hybridity is represented as aberrant it is because the “anthropological machine” uses these compound figures to reaffirm the fixed limits of humanity and its difference from other living beings, rather than to illustrate porosity between these boundaries. However, humanimal encounters that question the voluntary separation of the human species have been described and analysed from the standpoints of the arts, anthropology, philosophy, and the experimental sciences.

Participants: Marta Segarra, Gerard Ortín Castellví

This activity is part of Science Friction, In symbiosis

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Marta Segarra and Gerard Ortín

Humanimal Encounters

Marta Segarra talks about language as a supposed border between human and non-human animals and dialogues with the artist Gerard Ortín about the fascination caused by its hybridization and how it manifests itself in the arts and sciences.

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