Sanne MeuweseIllustrated & Animated Storytelling Den Bosch
The dancing plague of 1518
1518 a woman could be seen dancing through the streets of Strasbourg. She kept on dancing and dancing until she fell down, exhausted. Hundreds of people followed her lead. They thought they were possessed, but in reality, this “dancing plague” was probably caused by mass psychogenic illness, often called mass hysteria.
By using modern techniques to tell this medieval story, I want to emphasize that mass hysteria isn’t just a medieval phenomenon. Outbreaks of mass hysteria still occur, albeit in ways that fit the beliefs and circumstances of our time.
With this project I want to encourage people to think about mass hysteria in our time. Can our use of the internet and social media spread mass hysteria faster than ever? How much is our worldview affected by the people around us and what we believe?