Doel – the saddest place in Belgium

Silent protest on the Doel streets

Silent protest on the Doel streets

Earlier this year I went to the free film festival Pluk de Nacht. One night I was there they showed a short documentary about Doel (“Doel leeft” by Tom Fassaert). It’s a little village in Belgium waiting to be demolished completely for the expansion of the Antwerp port. The documentary showed the last inhabitants that were unable or unwilling to move. Pretty depressing and surreal situation which the documentary showed perfectly.

Last weekend I went to Antwerp and via Twitter I was reminded about Doel. Took the car and in the middle of nowhere we found the town. Even more empty than in the documentary, it was a true ghost town. The one nice thing about it was the abundance of (street) art. Luckily I had my DSLR with me so in the short time I was there I quickly shot some pictures. Via a friend I found a great Flickr set of someone who has been there the same day I was. It’s still unclear when the town will be wiped off the map, but if you want to see it for yourself you’ll have to hurry up.

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Ze Frank at Pluk de Nacht

Pluk de Nacht panorama

The picture above is a scene you will find at Pluk de Nacht (carpe noctem in Latin). It is already the sixth year that this free, open air film festival is organised in Amsterdam.  Besides the fact that it is outside, the unique selection of unreleased independent arthouse cinema, documentary, animation and shorts that are shown is quite remarkable.

I was there on the 9th, when a retrospective of Ze Frank was shown. Ze Frank gained fame with his daily video blog ‘The Show‘ and has also been a speaker at TED. I actually didn’t know him before, but his work that I have seen was pretty hilarious! Gotta love the typical, dry type of humor though (also referred to as ‘nerdcore comedy’), so it might not be for everyone. Curious whether you would like it? You have one last chance to see his work since he will be giving a live performance tomorrow at Timorplein!