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EN
Charleroi, a former prosperous industrial city, is today nothing more than the ghost of what it used to be. The factories have shut down one after another and dragged the city into an inevitable economical and social decline despite the city council’s efforts to conceal it.
Charleroi’s region is commonly called “Le Pays Noir” (the Black Country) referring to its numerous coal mines.
The city was incidentally designated as the “ugliest city in the world” by a Flemish newspaper. Today a few initiatives are trying to restore Charleroi’s shine, but they look like a band aid covering a hemorrhage.
This pictures series attempts to depict the city and its peculiar situation, between fantasy and phantasmagoria, between the American dream and the Belgian nightmare.
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FR
Charlyking, c'est le sobriquet que les graffeurs et rappeurs de Charleroi ont donné à leur fief.
Un lieu meurtri et blessé, mais à la beauté sculpturale.
Charlyking, c'est aussi ma vision de cette ville.
Une représentation tronquée, entre fantasme et fantasmagorie, entre rêve américain et cauchemar belge.
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Travail en cours.
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• Premier prix des Rencontres Photographiques d'Art'lon 2013
• Publication dans Nothing Magazine #04, juillet-août 2013
• Publication dans Réponses Photo #263 (Spécial Raymond Depardon), février 2014
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Merci à Stéphanie Gilboux pour les traductions et Julien Pebrel pour l'aide.
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Today, a committee led by former workers is trying to preserve its blast furnace from destruction.  isn’t doing well. On the one hand, too many properties were put on sale for too little interest, and on the other hand, overcautious banks did not want to grant loans. Charleroi is now a city of 202 965 inhabitants, that is to say 10% less than before. collapsed. political choices, the youth is now reacting. Many artistic and cultural projects are starting to see the light all over the city. even more unhealthy and unsafe. Current Prime Minister Paul Magnette is conducting a real witch hunt, aiming at restoring the image of the city. a scheme that aims at building a new and huge shopping mall that should open its door in 2016, though it is not everybody’s liking. once a jewel in the economic crown. The Italian community is still very present today.