Brussels Philharmonic | We Don't Need Another Hero

heroes & anti-heroes

We Don't Need Another Hero

an introduction to the lecture by prof. Laurent de Sutter, philosopher, author, and professor of legal theory

[read also: What defines a hero?]
[read also: programme notes]
[read also: O Superman]
[read also: soundscapes]
[read also: Photographic Hero]


30.09.2023 FLAGEY

When Tina Turner sang "we don't need another hero," it was almost like a declaration of war. Mad Max 3 told the story of a world caught between an environmental apocalypse and the brutality of a struggle for survival. Turner sang that a hero coming to save this world was not what it needed; what it needed was another world.

A hero is invariably linked to a bygone and obsolete world. The modern era has embraced this notion, accepting heroes primarily as anti-heroes - fragile, disoriented figures, marked by tragedy or powerlessness. In our contemporary world, which bears a striking resemblance to that of Mad Max 3, we gravitate toward individuals who fundamentally mirror ourselves. This inclination may be construed as a form of self-absorption or a rejection of grandeur. However, consider the opposite perspective: what if it's a political rallying cry for change that can only emerge from within us? Only an anti-hero has the potential to rescue us - none other than ourselves.

Laurent de Sutter, a professor of legal theory at Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Sciences-Po Paris, boasts a prolific literary career with more than twenty-five books translated into numerous languages and adorned with multiple accolades. Additionally, he presides over the Perspectives Critiques series at Presses Universitaires de France and the Theory Redux series at Polity Press. His latest work, Superfaible. Penser au 21eme siècle (Flammarion, 2023), has just hit the shelves.