Mathematically, we’ve been taught that our bodies are ¾ water, and comprise six elements – oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium and phosphorus. This will exist centuries after the first humans until the species goes extinct. The difference occurs as a result of culture influenced by technological and industrial developments in this process.
We live in a world where even being different becomes similar and people start looking more and more alike as they strive to stand out. It’s a whole other question how far we wander off from our own personality.
Can a person exist with his/her selfness, without likening to the surroundings? Or does existence have to adapt to what’s outside in order to survive? Italian director Alessandro Novelli’s story titled “Lights” offers some answers to these questions.
Novelli pulls us into the story with an animation style that resembles chalk drawings on a blackboard. We begin by watching an individual being forced to fit into a room. However, as the story unfolds, we see that the person adapts to its surroundings. Meanwhile, we see how it creates a distance between its true self by watching it shrink and change shape. According to Novelli, the transforming bodies and clothes represent habits, our sense of self, and the masks we wear.
Though this transformation paints a negative picture with its portrayal of the individual’s alienation with itself, we should also consider the influence society has on us, and remember not to disregard the cultural effect we’ll leave for future generations as much as those who have come before us.