Conversation

12 minutes

Never judge a book by its cover. But what about people and their faces?

Who is the man on the left? Depends whom you ask. Either: ‘He looks not quite honest or something, I don’t know … There’s some sort of cunningness in him.’ Or: ‘East European, quite genuine person, probably quite likes to go out for a few pints.’

These are just a couple of the comments made when 29 strangers from London’s diverse East End gathered to watch videos of each other and make judgments based on appearance alone. What can be gleaned from a face? As everyone takes a turn as judge, what do their analyses say about their own preconceptions and worldview? An absorbing and frequently surprising social experiment, Conversation was originally presented as a two-screen art installation before screening at film festivals, including the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival and the 2007 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.

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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.
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But we can’t do it without you.

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