For his series ‘The Inner Circle of Europe’, the photographer Gert Verbelen travelled to all eighteen countries of the eurozone. He visited the exact centre of each of these countries, where he spent a week photographing daily life. In almost every case, his journey took him to areas marked by poverty and isolation.

Europe is very clearly not just the familiar institutions or a collection of destinations for our city breaks. Europe is also godforsaken villages where not a single young person lives anymore because there is no work.

Verbelen’s photo documentary conveys a great sense of sadness and loneliness. At the same time, it reveals the strength of small communities and the strong bond with locality, the home, the kitchen, the living room, the chair in front of the TV,… These little rooms are treasure houses and true worlds in miniature. Every detail tells its own story.

Gert Verbelen studied graphic design and photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) in Ghent, where he completed his Master’s programme in 2014. His work has been admired at the International BredaPhoto Festival.

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