⎯ Doel, a once flourishing but now desolated township next to the harbour of Antwerp in Belgium. 

 

06.03.2013  13.07.2017

Fading Doel. A village of tears

A story of a once flourishing but now desolated township in Belgium.

 

Sandwiched between the Antwerp container port and a nuclear power plant is the village of Doel. A village that was in the way of the megalomaniac expansion of Antwerp for decades, but now, in the end, must make place definitively.

A village full of houses with open doors, smashed windows and overgrown gardens. The sign 'closed' turned green on the chip shop, school and stations. Soon, the Belgian village of Doel will not be there any longer.

For over thirty years its inhabitants have been finding themselves in uncertainty about the survival of their residence and the future of the surrounding polder area, including the Dutch Hedwige and Prosper polder. It slowly becomes evident that the port of Antwerp and the nuclear power plant in close proximity to their homes will gain ground forever.

 

The Saeftinghe dock

The Flemish government intents to break down the entire village with its church, cemetery, mill and cafe completely for the construction of a new major container port, the Saeftinghe dock.

A village of tears

And so the whole village is in decline. Squatters protest yet against the demise and the annexation. With music, noise and shouting it is a just as ephemeral as vain attempt to attract attention to the situation. At the same time they inject the village with graffiti, which makes Doel look even more in despair. A village of tears.

 

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⎯ Map of Belgium.

'Fading Doel' was published in Inspired Eye Magazine, US (2013).