Video: Are You a Slave?


This symbolic short film by Santiago Bou Grasso addresses the way we interact in our society by focusing on an average work day. Without a single word spoken, the artist demonstrates our tendency to view others as objects rather than thinking, feeling human beings.



While the cartoon can be interpreted in a number of ways, the overall message conveyed seems to be that we are focused on “things” rather than “people,” and in doing so we tend to dehumanize those around us. This type of human interaction is often referred to as “I-It Communication,” in which we treat others very impersonally.

A few examples of this communication can be found in interactions with salespeople, servers in restaurants, and clerical staff—many times these people aren’t even acknowledged. If you have ever walked past a homeless person asking for money or food as though they didn’t exist, you have participated in I-It communication.

Our system is a form of slavery, albeit a subtle one, which is why most people are unaware of their predicament. We easily accept our miserable, low-paying jobs as just another unpleasant aspect of life, after all, how else are most of us to pay a couple thousand dollars a month for our crappy, cockroach infested apartments? And those packages of Ramen Noodles, generic bread, and almost expired, “sale of the week” hamburger tubes aren’t going to pay for themselves.

Humans weren’t meant to be slaves to a system in which we isolate ourselves from, and use others to “get ahead” in life. We are social beings, and isolating ourselves from those around us is opposite of what our species craves.

This Article (Video: Are You a Slave?) is a free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and


The Mind Unleashed. Jun 30, 2015. (

Wood, Julia T. (2013). Interpersonal Communication: Everyday Encounters (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth.


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  1. There is no spoon… At least, not without appreciation of the creator. How are we to appreciate anything without acknowledging where/who/what it was spawned from? We are all taking advantage of one another. We are no different from those that we contradict… Until we break free, that is.


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