In 2021, Dubai is the first country in the Middle East to host the World Expo – the 35th to be exact. Belgium is also participating, sending a group of young artists with a project on Flemish Mastery. From Van Eyck to De Keersmaeker, from Brueghel and Rubens to Platel and Van Noten, from craftsmanship to high-tech. It turns out that their stay in the Arab emirate gave them convincing insights into the social engineering of success.
Back in Belgium, these makers put it to the test, with the central question being: 'Who will be the Flemish Master of tomorrow?' Under the watchful eye of the public, seven young Flemings - sharing only their desire for success and their immigrant background – will undergo a series of experiments. Who's pulling out of the rat race? Who perpetuates the belief in the survival of the fittest? How do 'nature' and 'nurture' relate in their struggle for success? Flemish Primitives shines new light on flashy talent shows and the malleability of success. Together with seven young performers, director Chokri Ben Chikha explores the relationship between the urge to excel and the spectacularization of difference.