Map Satellite Text

Photographer Kurt Deruyter continues his exploration of the Canal area

Kurt Deruyter - ©Rein Van Leirsberghe

2014-11-07 – Kurt Deruyter is a photographer with a fascination for anthropology and urbanisation who often works on ‘forgotten’ urban areas and population groups. From 2010 to 2012, he ran several projects in the Canal area in collaboration with the Urban Development Agency for the Brussels-Capital Region (ADT-ATO), in connection with the Foto Kanal exhibitions (read the facing article to the left).

Since then, Kurt Deruyter has carried on exploring the Canal area and the central districts of Brussels because, he says, ‘Photographers have the opportunity, and perhaps even the duty, to draw attention to subjects that we are all too inclined to ignore. For several years, I’ve been working on a photo-journalism project in the Brussels Canal area – especially in Cureghem and Molenbeek, two districts that have become the gateway to our society for many migrants. These are places little known to the general public, places where chaos, entrepreneurship and cosmopolitanism leave their mark on the streetscape. These districts will have a big impact on the future of Brussels and Belgium, so it is high time to get to know the people who live there.’

Over the past five years, Kurt Deruyter has ‘wandered the streets by the Canal, talked to everyone, to Mohamed and Adnan, Oumar, Crina... And I’ve photographed them in my search for answers to questions such as: Who are these people and what are they doing here? What do they hope to find here? And what influence does life in Molenbeek and Cureghem have on their immigration process?’

An appeal for participatory financing for the book "HALFWAY HOME"

To share these photos and stories, Kurt Deruyter asked Annelies Verbeke to write short stories about immigrants in the different phases of the migration process. In 2015, by combining material that will appear in newspapers, personal publications, an exhibition and a blog, they aim to reach the widest possible audience, in order to extend and deepen knowledge of these districts and their inhabitants. They have collected the photos and stories in five separate publications, each of which will throw light on a different aspect of these districts where migrants arrive. To finance the costs of producing and distributing the first part and to prepare the second, they arecalling for participatory financing.

More information: