PHOTŒIL

I am born in the heart of Flanders Fields and the Great War got into my system. As a young boy, when going to school, I walked along three war memorials, day after day, and in the evening, life slowed down for a while when the Last Post was blown as a never ending remembrance. In my family, horrific stories were told about the gas, shells, trenches, mutilation and dead.

I had to make that book just to get even with that damn war…

I decided to follow the 'Red Line': from Nieuwpoort to the Swiss border, the Western Front, a 750 kilometres long journey, that took me 5 years to photograph. In search for what remains, pushed by Kipling's famous epitaph: "If any Question why we died, tell them because our fathers lied".

My friend and journalist Johan Van Cauwenberge selected a vast collection of mind-blowing texts written by the men, artists, who fought that terrible war and lost their young and promising lives, sacrificed in an absurd slaughtering. These impressive texts and poems are interwoven with my pictures in a book meant as a tribute to whom who fell fighting oppression.

NO MORE WAR!

INUNDATED IJZER RIVER
INUNDATED IJZER RIVER
IJZER NEAR NIEUWPOORT
IJZER NEAR NIEUWPOORT
NIEUWPOORT
NIEUWPOORT
KATTESAS
KATTESAS
NEAR VORMEZEELE
NEAR VORMEZEELE
MESEN RIDGE
MESEN RIDGE
N-D DE LORETTE
N-D DE LORETTE
VIMY
VIMY
HAWTHORN RIDGE
HAWTHORN RIDGE
MONTAIGU
MONTAIGU
THIEPVAL
THIEPVAL
FRICOURT
FRICOURT
FORT DE VAUX
FORT DE VAUX
FORT DE SOUVILLE
FORT DE SOUVILLE
LA MAIN DE MASSIGES
LA MAIN DE MASSIGES
LINY-DEVANT-DUN
LINY-DEVANT-DUN
BUTTE DE MONTSEC
BUTTE DE MONTSEC
MONTFAUCON
MONTFAUCON
GLASBORN
GLASBORN
LE CHENE MILLET
LE CHENE MILLET
BAERENKOPF
BAERENKOPF
LE LINGE
LE LINGE
LE LINGE
LE LINGE
PFETTERHOUSE, THE SWISS BORDER
PFETTERHOUSE, THE SWISS BORDER
THE IJZER NEAR DIKSMUIDE
THE IJZER NEAR DIKSMUIDE
BOIS D'AILLY NEAR THE RIVER MAAS
BOIS D'AILLY NEAR THE RIVER MAAS
THE SOMME
THE SOMME
BUTTE DE MONTSEC
BUTTE DE MONTSEC
CHEMIN DE CRETES
CHEMIN DE CRETES
VIEIL ARMAND
VIEIL ARMAND

OPUS 14-18

Kunstenaars aan het front van WO I