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25.12.2015

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What is Belgium, what makes the country unique, how do people there live, what's their daily life like? The questions that motivated the photographer when he decided to explore his homeland seem very simple; yet, what does it mean to be “at home” in a globalized world? Does it still even make any sense to question things like identity and regional belonging? The book, D’entre eux, delivers results, with a choice of images that reveals the awareness the photographer has gained about his Belgium. On the one hand, his contrast-rich black and white pictures show a country marked by political, societal and economic problems; but at the same time he manages to portray his contemporaries in straightforward images that centre around their personal rituals and daily survival strategies. The portraits of his contemporaries are both ruthless and empathetic. Sometimes bizarre and joyful, sometimes melancholic and sad.

The renowned photo-journalist Cédric Gerbehaye (*1977), a member of Agence VU, worked predominantly abroad for more than a decade, documenting, among other things, the conflicts in Israel and Palestine, in South Sudan, and in Congo, before making use of a grant to rediscover his homeland. “I had this desire to work at home, which I'd never done before,” the photographer explained during an interview with Time editor Olivier Laurent. “Every time, I was asked about Belgium, a country I didn’t really know, in fact.” Gerbehaye started working with no particular angle in mind. “My goal was to take my time, to find myself. I wanted to discover my own country, get into my car and drive for three or ten days. The only thing I knew was that I didn’t want to talk about what everyone talks about, which is the differences between the north and the south, between the Flemish and the Walloon communities. People often have a set idea about Belgium. I wanted to get away from that.” The results of the three-year, slow-journalism experiment have affirmed Gerbehaye’s decision to take his time.

Cédric Gerbehaye
D’entre eux
144 pages, 71 black and white pictures
26.6 x 20.4 cm, French/Dutch
Edition Le Bec en l’air
With texts by Benno Barnard, Caroline Lamarche and
Olivier Mouton

www.becair.com
© Cédric Gerbehaye / D’entre eux / Vu’
© Cédric Gerbehaye / D’entre eux / Vu’
© Cédric Gerbehaye / D’entre eux / Vu’
© Cédric Gerbehaye / D’entre eux / Vu’
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