An Evening Creepy Crawl - Atlas Obscura


An Evening Creepy Crawl

Where entomology and thanatology meet.

Insects have long been associated with death. The word "corpse" conjures images of maggots, flies, and worms eating away at your loved ones underground. What was once an accepted part of the natural decay process became a thing to overcome in recent times, a thing to prevent in any way possible, with cement and metal vaults, and chemicals seeping into the earth. But the relationship between humans and insects perseveres in symbolism and myth, customs, and art. In this illustrated talk, independent researcher and artist Evi Numen navigates our complex relationship with insects as it pertains to ideas of death, and explores insect symbolism, deification, and myth across cultures and history. 

Evi Numen is an artist, curator, and independent researcher from Athens, Greece. She received her Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania. She held the position of Exhibitions Manager & Designer at the Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia from 2009 to 2016. During this time, Numen organized, designed and installed multiple exhibitions at the Mütter Museum, as well as curated their contemporary medicine-themed art shows. Her museum photography has been published in numerous outlets including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Guardian. She is the founder and curator of, an online exhibition of contemporary mourning art and writing, and is currently working as a death doula. Numen's focus of research is on cultural and historical attitudes towards death and dying. 

Dr. John Cambridge is a entomologist and the creator & CEO of the Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion.  His specialty is with invasive insect ecology and population monitoring techniques but he has a background in public health, vector control, and integrated pest management as well.  In his spare time, he dabbles with taxidermy and a variety of other educational display techniques as well as consulting on the creation of new exhibits at other museums.  Dr. Cambridge will be opening up the Insectarium to allow attendees to get up close and personal with many of their multi-legged inhabitants.


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