Below polder marsh country Waas, caught between the nuclear power plant of Electrabel and the port of Antwerp, Doel is an abandoned village.
To multiply passages of container, it was decided in 1995 that an expansion port area map turn into all the territory of which the village belongs. Its proximity to the Scheldt puts this polderian hamlet in danger, and by 2020, his land will be swallowed by the waters.
To carry out this project, the Belgian authorities are implementing expropriations. In twenty years, the population grew from 957 inhabitants to 22.
Since then the situation of the village was widely publicized causing the arrival of a new population of squatters.
Artists, graffiti writers and thugs invest the buildings abandoned as a playground, which, after passing, offer the spectacle of structures exposed and written graffittis. The new arrivals transform the place into a lawless zone – which amplifies the damage and looting of houses, dispossessing a little more owners remained on the scene.
Curiosity that brought me first to Doel.
On a background that mixes cawing of crows and the racket of port machinery, scenery and smells of my adolescence resurface.
I grew up in an allotment area, in the outskirts of town and I was immediately struck by the connection between the two places.
In this allotment area, with other kids, I discovered the adventure games and the squat building sites. We smoked our first cigarettes on the edges of the walls just bricked. I farted a few windows, set fire to insulation plates. I am trying to graffiti. The rampage was a hobby.
The feeling of freedom I felt then was beyond measure.
A new territory was presented to me and I tried to define its limits.
In the end, trying to guess what the sad reality of Doel, is what I wanted to find wandering in the debris the territory of my adolescence?
Q&A with Cédric Dubus
Which allows me to express myself without having to speak. It’s the only thing I know to do.
Photography and writing…
This is what there is more hard! Putting words in my photos is a bit like being in psychoanalysis. I do not like but it teaches me a lot about myself.
Who left the biggest impression on you?
Alec Soth and Vanessa Winship. My respect for their work is not new, but I recently received the last book of Soth “Songbook” and I wanted after reading to confront the book of Winship “She dances on Jackson”. Two approaches of two photographers whose work particularly resonate in me.
Tell us a little about yourself
For some time, I realized that my interest in photography is the notion of territory, whether physical, mental or social. When we talk about territory it always includes in this concept words like border, limit, perimeter.
Which necessarily implies being able to delimit.
But why do we need to define them? Often to better appropriating the or claim them. Even though this is absurd, it’s like that, it reassures the human condition.
I live and work in Lille in France. I am interested in all notions of territory. Whether physical, social or mental. I try to give shape to my own inner images through the filter of documentary fiction. My work, including the Essence A series have since been published in the specialized press.