The Mass Man

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People are mobilising and organising in protest against injustice or for a better climate. They gather on social media or set a city centre alight. Crowds rise up, swell, then disperse again. In the meantime leaders hide away in their ivory towers and seem to effortlessly find arguments to legitimise their power and violence. Crowds and power largely determine what unites or divides us. Are you a part of it, or are you outside it? And who has the power to decide that?

The Mass Man sketches a contemporary portrait of a world in conflict. Director Wouter Van Looy and video artist Wim Catrysse create a multimedia performance with the book Crowds and Power by Elias Canetti as a guide and Peter Verhelst as writer. Lutist Jurgen gathers musicians around him who perform adaptations of troubadour songs from the 11th and 13th centuries, music that those in power used as propaganda to mobilise crowds both religiously and politically.