UNSETTLED - PhMuseum

UNSETTLED

Isabelle Pateer

2008 - Ongoing

UNSETTLED (2008 - 2021) is a long term project on change and environment and addresses a current topic with global relevance. The series documents the evolution of the Antwerp harbour expansion zone in Belgium which finds itself on a competing global position for container traffic. The area is undergoing major transitions through vast Industrial expansions and related nature compensation plans imposed by the European Union to balance the industrial growth with ecological areas and protect the hinterland against rising sea levels.

Starting from this local Belgian example the UNSETTLED project refers to a global tendency of industrial, economic and environmental shifts and the challenge to balance these elements for a sustainable future.

The series shows layered landscapes of the transforming area, either for industrial or compensating nature targets, interior images of abandoned houses in the endangered village of Doel and portraits of young inhabitants in the area who will need to migrate because of the harbour expansion and nature compensation plans.

The project touches upon notions such as progress, change, ecology, climate change, sustainability, rising sea levels, global trade, value of land, migration, and the connection between identity and surrounding.

"The work provides a thought-provoking interpretation on the concept of transformation, exposing the challenging aspects of globalisation and urbanisation. “


— Maya Anner, Head Curator PHOTO IS:RAEL

UNSETTLED was awarded the Julia Margaret Cameron Award in London (2019), a finalist place at Photo IS:RAEL in Tel Aviv (2020), finalist of the Prix Regnier in Paris (2019), finalist at the International Photography Award Encontros Da Imagem in Braga (2019), first place at the Environmental Photographer of the Year (2014), first price at the PHOTOVISA International Photography Festival contest in Krasnodar (2014), and a finalist place at the Grand Prix Fotofestiwal Lodz (2012).

UNSETTLED has been shown in partial series at Photo Israel, Rencontres d’Arles, MoMA Tbilisi, Photofusion Gallery London, Daegu Photo Biennale in South Korea, Copenhagen Photo Festival, Photobiennale Thessaloniki, Galerie Lichtblick Cologne and more.

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