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 explanation that Moore gives of how gentrification is inextricably linked to degentrification has inspired me for this project. In my photoseries, I aim to contrast capital with the transitory, focusing on a variety of cities.

The first city I photographed was Charleroi, just below Brussels. It is not abandoned, but empty. Everywhere you can see that what once was, no longer is. It is precisely in the remains of the withdrawn capital, that a certain beauty seems to appear.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: it is always incomplete, or only complete because of the lives around it.