I AM (NOT) A MONSTER – For release in March 2019

In this impossible journey searching for the origins of knowledge, 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.

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…

I am (not) a monster is a multi-platform project (feature-length film, short films, events, musical record, and exhibition) demonstrating the state of ideologies- their origins, formulation and power structures- in contemporary society. It investigates the means by which knowledge is interwoven with the idea of cultural heritage while current development in AI suggests a global notion of ‘collectiveness’. 

Short synopsis:

‘To act is to begin something new’ said Hannah Arendt, one of the greatest thinkers of all time who passed away in 1975 and who coined the concept of the ‘banality of evil’. In this original film, learn about the thinking processes and mechanisms of activism and our risky thoughts. A most urgent film unravelling some of the reasons why Trump, Le Pen and others have captured people’s imaginations by reviving past ideologies. From dangerous plots to dangerous actions, you will hear about our collective fears both past and present but also encounter the contemporary monsters and actors of the future: the humanoids. Your guide in this adventurous journey is the alternative educator Nelly Ben Hayoun, who armed with puppets and dressed as Hannah Arendt, teases the greatest thinkers of our age whilst challenging them to an impossible pursuit; the search of the origins of knowledge.

Long synopsis: 

‘To act is to begin something new’ said Hannah Arendt, one of the greatest thinkers of all time who passed away in 1975 and who coined the concept of the ‘banality of evil’. Inthis original film, learn about the thinking processes and mechanisms of activism and our risky thoughts. A most urgent film unravelling some of the reasons why Trump, Le Penand others have captured people’s imaginations by reviving past ideologies.

From dangerous plots to dangerous actions, you will hear about our collective fears both past and present but also encounter the contemporary monsters and actors of the future: the humanoids. Your guide in this adventurous journey is the alternative educator Nelly Ben Hayoun, who armed with puppets and dressed as Hannah Arendt, teases the greatest thinkers of our age whilst challenging them to an impossible pursuit; the search of the origins of knowledge.

‘I am (not) a monster’ investigates the act of thinking in the twenty-first century as well as fears associated with it. An original and unapologetic performance on political theoristHannah Arendt (1906-1975), whose book The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951) and essays such as Truth and Politics (1967) are introduced as ‘urgently’ relevant to our times – with a recent spike of interest in her work, now translated into dozens of languages.

Interviewing Hannah Arendt’s former students and key philosophers and activists, ‘designer of experiences’ Nelly Ben Hayoun takes Hannah Arendt on a world tour in 16 cities; an impossible pursuit through four continents – looking for the origins, mechanics and power dynamics behind knowledge.Trained by Noh theatre and Kabuki experts in Japan, with puppets in hand, Ben Hayoun is questioning the ownership and plurality of our thoughts, and the means by which freedom of learning and innovative educative federationscan exist in contemporary times. She is hoping to return from her travels in Japan, Ethiopia, California, Arizona, New York State, United Kingdom, Italy, France and Germany with the source of knowledge in her suitcase so that she can share it with her students, down below, in the university she founded, the University of the Underground.

Dedicated project website: iamnotamonster.world

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