Costume design students in action for Borgerhoutse Giants Parade: “We are the mystery guests on Saturday” (Antwerp)

It is now a tradition for the Costume Design students of the Antwerp Academy to start the new academic year with the project Welcome to Belgium. “With this project, we allow students of the Costume Design bachelor to collaborate over the various years on Belgian folklore, folktales and heritage,” says teacher Sabina Kumeling. “That way they get to know each other and the city and our international students suddenly get a portion of Belgian folklore. We see it a bit as a rite of passage: what is typically Belgian, which elements from Belgian traditions and stories are found in other regions and how can they bring a myth to life themselves.”

Tradition

At the request of the non-profit association Reuzen, the students were put to work this year for the Borgerhoutse Giants Parade, which will be marching through the streets for the 310th time on Saturday. “We were happy to answer the question,” says teacher Bart Van Dijck, whose film The Weather Was Good about Belgian folklore should inspire the students. “It is interesting for the students to participate in the event because it is an existing tradition and at the same time it is a great challenge to join the procession and to be able to show their work to the public. On Saturday they will be the mystery guests of the Giants’ Parade.”

ALSO READ: Legendary Giant Parade will pass through Borgerhoutse streets for the 310th time on Saturday

In six groups of eight, the students created their own myth and characters around it and then performed it. “It is a very nice assignment, but three days is really too short to devise and implement a great concept,” says Noa Huyghe, second-year student. “If we had had more time, our wolf’s teeth wouldn’t have been in cardboard, for example. We’re not done yet, but it’s going to be all right.”

Still working on the wolf’s head with cardboard teeth. — © Jan Van der Perre

Anouk Van Rossem squeezes into a large brown wolf’s head with cardboard teeth. “We have worked on ‘Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf’, because that fairy tale is recognizable to everyone. The gigantic wolf head looks a bit like a grandmother, she is surrounded in the procession by girls with a red cap. And with the wolf’s long steerable arms, we can contact the public.”

geese riders

Baptiste Godbert is sweating in a colorful ribbon suit with an umbrella on his head. “Do you see the link with Belgium?” asks the student from Paris slyly. “The ribbons and the umbrella refer to the rain, you know that here. We also carry homemade instruments that mimic rain. And the brown and green colors refer to autumn. We refer to the transition of the seasons, traditionally the ideal moment to organize folkloric events.”

Student Baptiste Godbert in autumn giant suit. — © Jan Van der Perre

Student Mathilde Courtois from Namur has to give a word of explanation about four bizarre heads on a stick. “Our giants represent four unfortunate brothers who, out of jealousy, stole the happiness of small children. The ribbons they wear represent that happiness. But the more luck they took from the children, the more sluggish and heavier they became. We have used very flexible sticks so that we can bow to the audience during the procession and return the ribbons, that is, the happiness. Because giving back is also a way of being happy. A fairy tale, conceived and executed in three days.”

There are also about five goose heads in the studio. “Several students have been inspired by the geese riders in the polders,” says teacher Sabina Kumeling. “But also by discovering the Gilles van Binche, Saturday during the Giant Procession.”

Student Mathilde Courtois with one of the four unlucky brothers who will hand out 'luck' during the Giant Procession on Saturday.

Student Mathilde Courtois with one of the four unlucky brothers who will hand out ‘luck’ during the Giant Procession on Saturday. — © Jan Van der Perre

On Saturday, many goose heads can be seen in the Giant Parade. Inspired by the goose riders of the Antwerp polder.

On Saturday, many goose heads can be seen in the Giant Parade. Inspired by the goose riders of the Antwerp polder. — © Jan Van der Perre

Another bizarre new giant for the Giants' Parade.

Another bizarre new giant for the Giants’ Parade. — © Jan Van der Perre

Teachers Sabina Kumeling and Bart Van Dijck free student Baptiste from his giant suit.

Teachers Sabina Kumeling and Bart Van Dijck free student Baptiste from his giant suit. — © Jan Van der Perre

The article is in Dutch

Belgium

Tags: Costume design students action Borgerhoutse Giants Parade mystery guests Saturday Antwerp

PREV Start of preventive vaccination against monkey pox ends in a sizzle, Crevits intervenes: “No more referral needed” (Antwerp)
NEXT House in Berchem again shot and daubed, two suspects arrested in the Netherlands (Berchem)