It’s Nice That feature ‘I am (not) a monster’, Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios latest project. A film embarking on the impossible journey searching for the origins of knowledge to discover how our thinking and actions can render monsters. A most urgent film unravelling some of the reasons why Trump, Le Pen and others have captured people’s imaginations by reviving past ideologies.

Nelly and Jyni Ong, discuss ‘I am (not) a monster’, here is an excerpt:

“As a woman filmmaker brought up in a family of immigrants,” says Nelly, “the film expresses my strongest belief that nation-states have to be questioned as a format and that to consider a transnational form of education is more urgent and necessary than ever.” When Nelly isn’t directing films, she runs a tuition-free postgraduate university — the University of the Underground — in Amsterdam and London in the basement of the nightclubs DeMarktkantine and Village Underground respectively. With these programmes, Nelly and her colleagues teach students “how to use a plurality of disciplines and thoughts” through film, music, design, politics, theatre and linguistics. “My students are part of the reason why I started the film,” explains Nelly. “I felt that I needed to build a federation of partners around our educative structure, to demonstrate the importance of the act of thinking and the need for a plurality of thoughts and transnational education.”

Featuring Noam Chomsky, Nadya Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot, Arjun Appadurai, Richard J. Bernstein, Leon Botstein, Hiroshi Ishiguro, Nobumichi Tosa of Maywa Denki, living national treasure: Kanjuro Kiritake II, Hisa Uzawa and Takayuki Takahashi and more contributors; with a special appearance by Lucy, our ancestor; Hannah Arendt’s grave; monsters; the Rosetta Stone; a hip hop performer Shinto priest; a liquid economic machine and much more…

Read the article in full here!

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