Le paradis c'est ici

At the beginning of 2019 I found the book ‘Slow Burn City’ by Rowan Moore in a second-hand bookstore in Antwerp. The way he writes about how gentrification is inextricably linked to degentrification has inspired me for this project. In my photoseries, I wanted to contrast capital with the transitory, by focusing on a variety of cities.

The first city I photographed was Charleroi, a city just below Brussels that is not abandoned, but empty. Everywhere you can clearly see that what once was, no longer is. But it is precisely in the remains of the withdrawn capital in which a certain beauty seems to appear. After spending three days in Charleroi, I was so overwhelmed by everything I had seen that I decided to devote a project to the city itself.

Architecture is shaped by human emotions and desires, but then forms a new setting for other developments. The connection that seems to exist between the living and the lifeless evokes the necessity of photography with me: it is always incomplete, or only complete because of the lives around it.