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Foto Kanal 2012 – Icons

 - ©ADT / Kurt Deruyter

2012-07-04 - On Wednesday afternoon this week, the Urban Development Agency for the Brussels-Capital Region (ADT-ADO) and Platform Kanal launched the ‘Foto Kanal 2012 – Icons’ exhibition in the presence of the Minister-President and a representative of the Minister of Urban Regeneration. To mark the occasion, ADT-ATO and Platform Kanal also presented the book ‘Foto Kanal 2010-2012 – Images en realities of youngsters in Brussels’.

This summer, four very busy canalside locations play host to a number of temporary monumental structures presenting photographs taken by young people from the central districts of the Brussels Region. At Place SainctelettePorte de Ninove, in front of the Abattoirs d’Anderlecht (until 16 September) and in connection with Bruxelles-les-Bains (from 6 July to 12 August: see details below), the ‘Foto Kanal 2012 – Icons’ exhibition presents a subjective and contrasting selection of the icons of young people living on either side of the canal. This event constitutes a showcase for the creativity of young people from this part of the region’s territory and an invitation to (re)discover a fast-changing city centre. The regeneration in progress is the result of large-scale investment by the local and regional authorities of Brussels, numerous individual and private initiatives, the dynamism of cultural actors and voluntary sector operators and the support of the European Structural Funds.

The exhibition ‘Foto Kanal 2012 – Icons’ represents part of a participatory process launched over two years ago by the Urban Development Agency for the Brussels-Capital Region (ADT-ATO) and Platform Kanal, with the support of the Brussels-Capital Region and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

In the first part of this process, the exhibition ‘Foto Kanal 2010 - Je suis le plus beau du quartier’, monumental portraits of young people from the central districts of Brussels were displayed at around thirty sites and blocks of flats the length of the canal. For this year’s exhibition, the author of the portraits, photographer Kurt Deruyter, was given the task of continuing this fundamental work, increasing the young people’s active involvement. He therefore accompanied them for several months in a process of reflection on the theme of icons – whether near or remote, drawn from the family circle or known to the general public – from pop idols to Mr and Mrs Average.  

This collective work pursued over a lengthy period also led to the publication of the book ‘Foto Kanal 2010-2012 – Images et réalités d’une jeunesse bruxelloise’, which draws links between the two exhibitions.

The part of the exhibition set up at Bruxelles-les-Bains between 6 July and 12 August, ‘Icons – Beach’, will also be highly participatory: Kurt Deruyter will visit the site several times, depending on the weather, to photograph any visitors who want to be photographed, and thus create a kind of gallery of beach ‘icons’, Brussels style. ‘Icons – Beach’ will thus get the young public at Bruxelles-les-Bains involved in the process of reflection about icons initiated by the exhibition.