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Sébastien Van Malleghem August 15, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Belgium.

Paifve Prison. Liège, Belgium 2011

Sébastien Van Malleghem (b. 1986, Belgium) studied photography in Brussels from 2006 to 2009. For four years he followed police officers and their interaction with the public in Belgium. Sébastien went to Libya in 2012 to cover the ruins of power after the death of Gaddafi. His work has been published in The New York Time Lens Blog, La letter de la Photographie Le Soir (be), Le Vif l’express (be) among others. His first monograph POLICE was published in Yellow Now Edition. Sébastien won the Foto Folio Review Award in Les Rencontres d’Arles , the Young Talent Artist Prize at the Belgium National Collection RTBF/ Canvas Collectie awards and the third prize at the European Month of Photography in Berlin.

About the Photograph:

“This photo was taken in one of the largest prisons for mentally ill criminals. The two prisoners in the courtyard of the prison are on their way to work duty. It reminded me of a prison camp during World War II. The prison administers psychiatric help to the inmates but most of their illnesses are not curable. Most of them don’t know when they will be released. They receive medication three times a day to calm down. The prison guards are kind with the inmates and most of the time have a friendly relationship with them but because of their illness they can suddenly change and become really aggressive and dangerous. In general there is a good atmosphere inside of the prison but also something really sad. There are only a few people outside who want to understand them because of their incarceration. This photo is part of a series I’m currently working on about the idea of justice in Belgium and in Europe.”