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03.06.23 - 24.09.23

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Vernissage : 03.06.23 - 18h30

Gaël Turine. Mémoire de rivières

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The floods that hit the south of Belgium in the summer of 2021 caused unprecedented human and material damage. Never before had the country experienced such an environmental disaster. Scientists agree that the intensity of the torrential rains in July 2021 is due to climate change. In August 2021, a few weeks after the floods, Gaël Turine undertook a photographic project centred on memory, photographing the consequences of these floods in the valleys of the Vesdre, Lesse, Lhomme, Wamme, Hoëgne and Ourthe.

Over the next eighteen months, he travelled up each of these rivers several times to photograph the aftermath of the floods.
Each town, village, street or house, just as each forest, agricultural area or river, has its own specific rhythm of resilience, and this is something that moves slowly.

The realization of this work reinforced his belief that it was absolutely necessary to show what had happened in the south of Belgium because it concerns our collective responsibility.
Climate change is happening here and now.

Without seeking to be exhaustive, a rigorous work method combined with a documentary photographic approach made it possible to map out the destruction caused by the floods and the reconstruction that is under way.

The exhibition Mémoire de rivières presents some of these landscape photographs and shows us how urgent it is to act to prevent future catastrophes.


Gaël Turine studied documentary photography at the École Supérieure des Arts-Plastiques ‘Le 75’ in Brussels. During his studies (1994–97), he collaborated with NGOs such as Médecins Sans Frontières and Médecins du Monde to photograph in Afghanistan, Angola and Eritrea. As soon as he graduated, he started a reportage on cooperatives for the blind in West Africa, which led to the publication in 2001 of the book Aveuglément in the famous Photo Poche series as well as a first showing at the Visa pour l’Image festival.

In 2004, after four trips to Afghanistan, he published the book Avoir 20 ans à Kaboul. A long-term project with paediatric cancer specialist Eric Sariban led to the publication in 2009 of the book Aujourd’hui c’est demain (Delpire). Between 2005 and 2010, Gaël Turine studied voodoo rituals in Africa, Haiti and the United States. The book Voodoo was released in January 2011.

In 2012 and 2013, he turned his attention to the wall separating India and Bangladesh. The book Le mur et la peur was published in September 2014 in the Photo Poche series on the occasion of the showing at the Visa pour l’Image festival.

From 2013 to 2017, Gaël Turine pursued a personal work on the city of Port-au-Prince and collaborated with the writer Laurent Gaudé, who wrote the texts for the book En bas la ville, released in June 2017. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Brussels public hospitals Iris-Sud commissioned Gaël Turine to produce a book on Covid. TRACES brings together 155 portraits of hospital staff. It was published in March 2021.

In parallel to his personal projects, Gaël Turine publishes regularly in the international press, whether commissions or his own reportages. His work has been shown in Figaro Magazine, Paris Match, Time, Libération, L’Express, Stern, Der Spiegel, The New York Times, Geo, The New Yorker, Le Temps, Le Monde, De Morgen, Marie Claire, Grands Reportages, L’Espresso, De Volkskrant, Sunday Magazine, Knack Magazine, La Repubblica Magazine, Io Donna, DU Magazine, Adbusters, Photo Magazine, LFI, Photographers International and more.

He has received several awards and grants in Europe and the United States. His work has been exhibited at festivals as well as in museums and galleries.
Gaël Turine also has many years’ experience in teaching since he has been giving workshops for about fifteen years. He has been involved in training courses abroad such as in Istanbul (series of four workshops in 2012 and 2013), in Dhaka as part of the Chobi Mela Photo festival (2013), in Port-au- Prince, Haiti, (more than ten workshops since 2013) and in Dakar (2017–19). He has been teaching at the School of Journalism of Université Libre de Bruxelles since 2016.

Gaël Turine was a member of the VU and MAPS agencies for twelve years. He himself now represents his own work.

With the support of

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A few kilometres from the town of Houyet in the Lesse valley, dozens of trees have fallen as a result of the floods of July 2021. The bend in the river accentuates the destructive power of the torrent of water, leaving no chance for the youngest trees. Date of shooting: January 2022 © Gaël Turine