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Facing the Hero, LUCA School of Arts

The Borgia Trilogy is a play created by Benjamin Van Tourhout and NUNC. Van Tourhout investigated the Secret Achives of the Vatican to get insights on this illustrious papal family. Van Tourhout does research on empathy with – what he defined as - hybrid heroes in fiction. The Borgia family seemed the perfect match for this research project, which challenges common concepts on Heroism in fiction and on empathy as a positive and beneficial concept.

Led by Pope Rodrigo Borgia the dark and gloomy family was dangerous, sensual, unpredictable, harsh and bittersweet. They combined the enthusiasm of children with the precision of snipers and killed or raped their way through society. It seems that the Borgia family had no scruples at all when it came down to achieving their goal: power.

Sadly, this Borgia-behavior is not limited to a period in time as we see Borgia’s in every era, in every society. This was precisely the reason Van Tourhout wanted to re-invent and re-create their lives in a play– not only to use them as a mirror but furthermore to lure audiences into a sensual and attractive.

Van Tourhout searches narrative tools that can enhance both the hybridity and the subsequent empathy. It seems that in recent times common concepts on heroism and empathy must be re-evaluated and that these new interpretations can inflict ethical reflection. Paradoxically, hybrid heroes behave in wrong ways and because of that they can raise ethical reflection and moreover render enjoyment.


KU Leuven and LUCA School of Arts

Literary Studies (KU Leuven), Research Unit Music & Drama (LUCA School of Arts)

Project: Hybrid Heroes and Wrong Empathy

Blijde-Inkomststraat 21 - box 3311  - 3000 Leuven

benjamin.vantourhout@kuleuven.be


 



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