BEERVELDE - Every night the last train leaves for the Belgian village of Beervelde, located along the E17. From the station, young men and women try to reach one of the nearby motorway parking lots, usually on foot. There they try to get on a truck that will bring them to England.

Everyone sees them leave: young people with warm long coats and hoodies, sliding with their socks in plastic bags to keep their feet dry. Something boyscouts and guides also do at a rainy summer camp. Fellow travellers, train escorts, waiters from the restaurant right next to the station: everyone watches how they risk their lives to reach England.

"The S53" is a portrait of people watching the big headlines pass by, without doing anything about it. Because what can they do? What can they change? What can you do for people trying to reach L'autre côté?

A radio documentary by Tinne Claes and Wederik De Backer

Music: Studio Ree (Frederik De Clercq)
Final editing: Ottoline Rijks



Tinne Claes and Wederik De Backer were awarded the title of Master Storyteller 2019 by the Dutch Stichting Verhalende Journalistiek (Narrative Journalism Foundation) for their podcast. More info. 


Tinne Claes

Tinne Claes is a Belgian historian and freelance investigative journalist.

Wederik De Backer

Wederik De Backer (b. 1988) makes radio documentaries and podcasts.
€ 3.623 allocated on 05/06/2019.

PODCAST (in Dutch)

  • Broadcasted during the Festival van de Gelijkheid, Cinema Sphinx, 29/11/2019, 13u00 - 14u00.
  • Later on Belgian public broadcaster, Radio 1.
  • Radio Apache, 24/12/2019.