Exploring the affinities between philosophy and cinema - this is what Susana Viegas, researcher at IFILNOVA, from the School of Social Sciences and Humanities of NOVA University Lisbon (NOVA FCSH), intends to do with the ERC Consolidator Grant, which the European Research Council has just awarded her, in the amount of 1.7 million euros, for the project "Film - Philosophy as a Meditation on Death". This is the first time that an ERC grant has been awarded to study the Philosophy of Cinema.
The research project seeks to bring together two distinct practices, but with a common interest in the theme of death, without which one would not have begun to philosophise and for which films show a special interest as a narrative and formal motif. To substantiate an emerging area of philosophical studies, such as Philosophy of Cinema, will be one of the main contributions of this project that seeks to understand the paradoxical situation in which we live: if on the one hand, we avoid thinking about death in our daily lives, we readily discuss the theme when it appears in films or television series.
About the project, Susana Viegas says "The theme of death in cinema had never been worked in depth before. Specifically, "FILM AND DEATH" defends the hypothesis that this aesthetic experience is, at its core, comparable to the experience of our own mortality, an indispensable element to start philosophising. Deepening our understanding of the way cinema, time and death are interconnected will allow us to better understand a contemporary vision of the world and of ourselves that prevails in a society that pushes the thought of death out of our daily life, but which, paradoxically, is dominated by images of death mediated by screens".
João Sàágua, Rector of NOVA University Lisbon, adds, "Research is, and will continue to be, one of the fundamental pillars of NOVA University Lisbon, in all its organic units. We stand out for the quality of our researchers and the excellence of the work developed. Receiving another ERC Grant, especially in the area of Social Sciences and Humanities, and to develop an unprecedented research in our country, fills us with pride and is further proof that this is the path we want to follow".
The project will run from 2023 to 2028, and is organised around four axes of theoretical research with various activities designed for the academic community and the general public. Among the planned initiatives is the realization of several film cycles where the theme of death will be dominant.