What Makes Us Human? Animating the Humanities

Posted: 13 July, 2021

In the beginning was an empty and silent world. However, after a book was discovered, the character enters into an unpredicted journey.

What are the humanities? What makes us human?
From a world of pure emptiness, the character tumbles into a series of unpredicted but extraordinary worlds. The worlds ahead waiting for her seem to be imaginary, yet strangely familiar: archaeology, anthropology, history, religion, literature, art and music… They are the worlds of the humanities.
The character picks up different elements in each world that transform her: growing body parts through the sense of sight, touch, sound, and smell… experiencing the emotion of curiosity, the joy of laughter, and tears of sorrow. At the end of the journey, the character finally grows into a ‘human’.

Directed by Annlin Chao, in collaboration with Prof. Jo Sofaer and researchers from Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA), this project brings together global animation talents and humanities researchers, to explore why the humanities matter. The humanities are often underrated in their importance, yet they are key to supporting human-kind, including remembering who we are, and playing an essential role at this time of global crisis.

Panel Discussion: What Makes Us Human? Animating the Humanities

Humanities Matter: The Story behind the Animation

Researchers from Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) join animation director Annlin Chao to discuss the making of the Humanities Matter animation. They explore how humanities research was translated into the animation and why humanities matter.


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