TOGETHER ON OUR OWN
BELGIUM MARCH-AUGUST 2020
Belgium declared a lockdown for the entire country over the coronavirus crisis from Friday 13 march on, following the example of several European countries. The population is urged to stay at home; working from home becomes the new norm. People are only allowed to go out in an emergency or to pharmacies and doctors. All non-essential stores are closed while supermarkets, food stores, deliveries remain open following strict rules. Any gatherings and meetings are prohibited. Outdoor sports activities are allowed. Care should be taken to maintain 1,5m distance from other people. Public transport continues, guaranteeing social distancing. Only when restrictions become lenient wearing masks in crowded public places become obligated.
For us, at home this means a small adjustment. I live with 3 other adults on the outskirts of Ghent in an old mansion with a large walled garden. The outside world was already barely noticeable before. Because we are at home more often, we’ve grown closer together. The confinement cocoon at home contrasts sharply with the emptiness on the street. Posters, messages on windows, police and social control tell you to distance yourself. On the street, the isolation of society becomes even more apparent. An alternative to escape the prevailing fear; is found in food or sports, supermarkets and nature become entertainment parks.
#Covid_19 #Corona Diary #Pandemic #Lockdown 1.0
OF SOUL AND JOY PHOTO-PROJECT
SOUTH AFRICA 2015
Of Soul and Joy project is a long-term social art initiative undertaken in 2012 by Rubis Mécénat cultural fund in Thokoza, a township located in the southeast of Johannesburg in South Africa, to pass on artistic skills in Photography to a youth growing up in the township.
Since 2012 workshops are initiated at Buhlebuzile Secondary School in Thokoza. Among other photographers - Jabulani Dhalmini SA, Bieke Depoorter B, Cyprien Clément Delmas FR, Kutlwano Moagi SA, Thabiso Sekgala SA,… - I have been involved as a mentor and curator in the project (Free from my happiness, International Photo Festival Ghent 2015). During my last visit to South Africa, Rubis Mécénat assigned me to make photographs of their activity.
O Grande Hotel was build in the '50s, it was regarded as the most luxurious hotel in the Portuguese colony of Mozambique. The dream fell apart when the independence struggle began in 1964. The Portuguese dictatorship fell in 1974 and Mozambique became independent the following year. Shortly after the country was divided by civil war. The 16 years long conflict caused mass of displaced families.
The abandoned Grand Hotel was for many, their new home. The former colonial wealth was stripped and sold to the hungry bellies of the residents to fill. What now remains is a ruin without electricity and running water where about 3,000 people are hiding. Shadows, hidden from the eye, live down the social ladder.