local.contemporain 07 / 80 pages / publishing le bec en l’air

Texts by Patrick Chamoiseau, Daniel Bougnoux, Maryvonne Arnaud, Yves Citton, Images by Maryvonne Arnaud

What does it mean to be a “human being”? How do you live up to this ever evolving notion metamorphosising before our very eyes, in amongst us and always growing? How do you conceive of or limit our idea of humanity in this era of globalisation?

Don’t let’s get hung up on any false or outdated idea of a human being: humanity lives in all of us in equal measure. This vague notion suggests that it is only ever shared by those with the same language or culture and consequently is implacably divided up. You cannot know what humanity is or could be, when you only have a little part of it, when you will only ever know the tiniest sample of it.

“Other people” boundlessly symbolise the enormous missing part which we must document and explore endlessly. The missing part is also a term used by scientists, when they call it antimatter, which we don’t know anything about, only having access to matter which to exist, needs the part that escapes us.

In our streets, as in the infinity of space, bodies express themselves and sometimes just skim past each other, at immeasurable distances from one another. How can you ever measure mankind?


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