Great Apes: are human beings overrated?
Patrick Marmion’s adaptation for the theatre of Will Self’s satirical novel, Great Apes, raises – hilariously and darkly – the major question of what it means to be human. How far should we separate ourselves from the animal world? Not only are we symbiotically dependent on other animals, we are also animals ourselves. It is just over 50 years since the publication of Desmond Morris’s The Naked Ape, which emphasised the evolutionary closeness between apes and humans.
What makes us different? Does self-knowledge, self-awareness, the power of speech and our sexuality set us apart so significantly that we can ignore our animal origins? Has human culture created an unbridgeable gulf between humans and their nearest species relatives, the chimpanzees? Or are there aspects of human culture that reveal our animalistic tendencies and should make us wary of species arrogance?
The event brings together panellists from a range of fields to discuss and debate these ideas.
journalist, writer and broadcaster; presenter, BBC Radio 4’s FutureProofing; author, Big Data: does size matter?
editor-in-chief, Art Review and Art Review Asia
writer and author
Additional panellists to be confirmed.
impact development officer, Birkbeck, University of London; convenor, Academy of Ideas Arts & Society Forum