Flemish-Congolese artist Roland Gunst is ambivalent about the Flemish lion. On the one hand, the clawing lion instills fear in him as a symbol of an assumed pure Flemish identity that rejects foreignness. On the other hand, he holds a passionate desire for the arrival of a Flemish lion who will liberate his people. A lion that – as the Flemish flag already suggests – is black.
In the musical performance Flandria, a blend of history and mythology, that time has finally come: the black lion, King Lion I of Flanders, rises. Not in order to liberate Flanders from the French, but to resolve the issue of integration that our society is wrestling with, once and for all. Lion I throws himself into battle against the horrifying monster of assimilation, which threatens to swallow us all whole.
In a mystical ritual with the noblewoman Flandria – soprano singer Emma Posman – and with opera music from the renowned Kugoni Trio orchestra, Gunst reflects on the Flemish identity and depicts an Afropean kingdom in which impurity and interculturality are celebrated.