“It’s the most spooky place I have ever been; real shiver down the spine stuff”.
The 700 year old region of Doel isn’t just your average Belgium country village (they have residents for starters) – it’s literally a modern day ghost town.
There are several squatters floating around, but the residents have long gone. But Doel’s bleak future isn’t the result of an economic decline or high rates of unemployment, the reason people simply abandoned the area and why its very fate hangs in the balance, is due to the planned expansion of Antwerp’s harbour. It’s expansion would close off Doel from the mainland entirely – as a result of the impending decision people have simply opted to get out early.
If you believe local politicians, it’s set to be reduce to pile of rubble (although they’ve been talking about this since the 1970s) sooner rather than later. But not everyone is giving up on the town, a swarm of street artists have invaded the area tagging, marking and placing their creations all over buildings, roofs, walls, houses and stairwells.
A modern day blank canvas made of bricks and rubble. Proof that even in the bleakest of environments, art can always find a place to flourish.
Photos by the talented Romany WG