Cultural Event

Movie evening with Tim Verheyden: Who is Shield and Friends?

Come to see a movie about populism and use the chance to debate with famous international scholars!

02/12/2020 - 16:00 - 18:00

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SOGOLAS in cooperation with BFM is organising a movie evening in the frameworks of the conference “Angry Times. Populism and Democracy Discontent".

The movie "Who is Shield and Friends?" was made by Tim Verheyden. Tim is a journalist and anchor with the public broadcaster VRT, in Belgium, where he makes short and long stories for television and the web. Previously he worked for vtm as a senior and international reporter, covering stories from Chernobyl, Haiti, Pakistan, Norway, and the Arab spring in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. 

The movie will be followed by a discussion with Tim Verheyden and the speakers of the conference “Angry Times. Populism and Democracy Discontent”. The discussion will be moderated by the director of BFM, Katrin Saks.

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Description of the movie:
Pano, a documentary program from the Flemish television broadcaster VRT, exposes the secret conversations of a Flemish alternative right, conservative movement “Schild & Vrienden”. More than 67,000 messages, memes, comments and thoughts were revealed in hidden chat boxes. Pano unmasks their true identity and shows a unique view into the minds of the Flemish far-right conservative youth. “Schild & Vrienden”, literally translated as “Shield and Friends” is a metapolitical youth movement, related to the popular alt-right or identitarian movements of Martin Selner and Richard Spencer, focusing on Flemish identity and family values. At first, they seem to be the perfect son-in-law, cleaning up the streets from garbage and donating blood in the name of their organization. They are also striving to stop mass migration and uphold a Christian Flanders. They use memes as a purpose to change the thoughts of their following. Journalist Tim Verheyden climbed up their militarist ranks and succeeded in looking into their secret and hidden chat boxes on Facebook and  ‘gaming application’ Discord, where they respectively have almost 900 and 200 members. He found hundreds of sexist, anti-Semitist and racist thoughts and comments. He followed their leader, or ‘End Boss’ as he wants to be called, Dries Van Langenhove for six months, filming their actions, speeches and meetings with, among others, the Hungarian president Viktor Orbàn. More than once would they refer to a race war, calling for arms, and posting pictures of them holding weapons, saying they are “totally ready”. Who are the real “Shield and Friends”? And where does this end?