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Niveau 4. L’obscure au temps de l’alerte maximum

The Belgian flag waves on the top of the Royal palace of Brussles, after the Belgian and European capital have been under lockdown for 4 days with a maximum alert level on terrorist attack. On international media Belgium, divided among French, Dutch and German speakers, has been considered attractive to terrorists, also due to a diffuse incoordination related to its state organization.


Niveau 4. L’obscure au temps de l’alerte maximum, photo essay by Alessia Capasso.

After the Paris terror attack that killed more than 130 people, Belgium’s national crisis centre raised the alert level on terrorist attack in Brussels region to level four (Niveau 4), which designates a “serious and immediate threat”. On the basis of undisclosed evidence, the Belgian security and counter-terror services warned the government that a major Paris-style attack was being planned in Brussels. Public transport has been restricted, shops shut, shopping malls shuttered, professional football matches cancelled, concerts called off and music venues, museums, and galleries closed. People were told to avoid rail stations and airports, shopping centres, concerts, and other public events where people congregate.

I explored the city during the lockdown days guided by these words: fear / security / unknown / limit.
What are the feelings when police sirens become the ‘Original Soundtrack’ of your daily life? To which details our eyes give attention when someone says you are living in a war context? (Alessia Capasso)

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A man walks alone in a commercial centre behind the Brussels central station on November 25th 2015. After the alert level on terrorist attack in Brussels region raised to the maximum, people were told to avoid rail stations and airports, shopping centres, concerts, and other public events where people congregate.

A soldier stands guard on the Gran Place, the main square in the city centre of Brussels on November 22nd 2015.

A detail of an armoured vehicle parked in the Grand Place, the main square in the city centre of Brussels on November 22nd 2015.

A detail of a plant placed inside a private building in the Ixelles district in Bruxelles on November 22nd 2015.

A security code that gives access to a buolding in the Ixelles district close to the European institutions on November 23rd 2015.

A policeman stands guard on the streets during an operation in the city centre of Brussels on November 22nd 2015. Belgian police launched several operations linked to the terrorist threat facing Brussels, which was under a top security alert over fears of Paris-style attacks.

A person assists under the rain to a police operation in the city centre of Brussels on November 22nd 2015, during the days of lockdown of the European capital.

A waiter closes a restaurant during a police operation in the city centre of Brussels on November 22nd 2015, during the days of lockdown of the European capital.

Shopping carts stands outside a market in the Ixelles district on November 23rd 2015.

A security camera placed on a private building in the Ixelles district in Bruxelles on November 23rd 2015.

A police car highlights the street from a restricted area during a police operation in the city centre of Brussels on November 22nd 2015.

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