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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

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Sillas (musical chairs)

5 minutes

Transported by imagination, kids turn chairs on a dusty patch into a joyful game

One in a series of short films on children’s games by the Belgian artist Francis Alÿs, Sillas (Musical Chairs) is a beguilingly simple and charming look at Mexican children at play. Shot from above in a single take, with the tension building as the chairs disappear each time the music stops playing, the film prompts us to look at the children’s game not only as a bit of fun, but also as a metaphor of sorts: who will win? What is won when you are the last one left?

Director: Francis Alÿs

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

Essay/Rituals & Celebrations
Who first buried the dead?

Evidence of burial rites by the primitive, small-brained Homo naledi suggests that symbolic behaviour is very ancient indeed

Paige Madison

Essay/Music
Music is not for ears

We never just hear music. Our experience of it is saturated in cultural expectations, personal memory and the need to move

Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis