Dwelling, staying, leaving: searching for and escaping from intimacy

1 Francesco Remotti

Dwelling, staying, leaving: searching for and escaping from intimacy

Free event
Friday 22 May 2015 5:30 pm
piazza del Duomo 1
Just like other animals that build lairs, nests and shelters, humans also build homes to protect themselves from the elements, from enemies in the form of other animals and societies, and even from their own society. Human beings’ homes – so vastly diverse in form and construction materials – fall between two extremes: the widest possible expression of social relations and the most profound intimacy. Social relations, which humans are forced to practice, simultaneously provide resources as well as stress, traps and dangers: enemies come not only from without, they can also emanate from within. This is why humans seek out circles of intimacy in which to take refuge. But even intimacy can be a deadly trap, a place that both attracts and repels us. This tussle between social relations and intimacy, the external and the internal, exchange and appropriation, gives us a glimpse into one of the meanings of human habitation, oscillating between staying ‘here’ and going ‘elsewhere’.   




Francesco Remotti, emeritus Professor of Cultural Anthropology, member of the Academy of Sciences in Turin and the Accademia dei Lincei, has carried out ethnographical and historical research among the Banande people in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He has developed theories on the concept of identity and on anthropopoiesis. His publications include: Contro l’identità (1996); Contro natura (2008); L’ossessione identitaria (2010); Cultura (2011); Fare umanità. I drammi dell’antropo-poiesi (2013); and Somiglianze. Una via per la convivenza (2019) with Laterza.


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