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Kris Pannecoucke December 4, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Belgium.
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Priest Jean-Jacques Omba. Ostende, Belgium

Kris Pannecoucke (b. 1969, Kinshasa) is a Belgian freelance photographer who grew up partially in Congo and is now based in Antwerp where he also  previously studied photography. He currently works for editorial and commercial clients including the dutch version of National Geographic Magazine & Unicef. Kris is especially interested in religious themes  and the reasons in which  people search and find faith for what to believe in. He has received Grants to work on stories like ‘Remittances’  (how do people in Africa spend money from family members who are foreign workers in Europe) and ‘self censorship’ on Spain’s centuries old tradition of Moros y Cristianos who caused a stir among the Muslim community.

About the Photograph:

“I made this picture for a story in the Dutch National Geographic about immigration leading to importation of new religions. In some European countries churches are empty. Secularization took place but thanks to immigration ‘God is back’ (title of the story). The essay was a broad look on immigrants of very different origin and how they experience their believe in a country where Santeria, Candomblé or Jainism were unheared of 20 years ago. In the picture Priest Jean-Jacques Omba from Congo is  blessing a new member of his church before she will be baptised in the North-Sea in Ostende, Belgium.”

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