Doel: the industrial decline condemned it to abandonment


Doel – a small village on the outskirts of Antwerp – is a place lost amongst the harsh contrasts of an industrial expansion, which met its end sooner than expected, and a European recommendation to ‘construct an artificial nature reserve’. A contrast between the industrial megalomania and a man-made nature! In her series ‘Unsettled’, The Dutch photographer Isabelle Pateer, explored the concept of an industrial progression that superimposes the interest of the population and its consequent loss of identity and cultural heritage. The artist, who grew up a few kilometres from Doel, knows this reality only too well, as she has been documenting it since 2007, being herself a witness of the great changes of the last few decades. These transformations motivated her to tell the story of the village reflecting the global tendency based on an economic logic which is more destructive than constructive. The photographer told P3 that she was looking for ‘less direct images, silent images which breathe and allows the onlooker to reflect upon what happened in Doel in a broader manner and to go beyond the daily news.’ The nostalgia of these images is as soft as it is emotional.. J.M.