BELGIUM - Eight underage asylum seekers were followed by Catherine Vuylsteke for one year. The Nadaar collective and three guest photographers each portrayed one of the youngsters.

Youth is a short season. And for Imad, Maryska, Ibrahim, Raza, Dinesh, Sabo, Jacob and Benjamin it is certainly the case. They have been washed ashore, sent, escaped or chased away. Jacob, Raza and Dinesh fled the horrors of war in Sudan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. Imad and Benjamin were spat out through the merciless streets of Ghana and Morocco. Maryska and Ibrahim ran for the wrath of their murderous fathers in Ukraine and Guinea and little Sabo got stuck in the net of his family of Syrian-Kurdish resistance fighters.

In the early nineties, the seven boys and one girl were born under a different heaven, but now they are our children. It could be the harvest of one day, of any day.
 After all, on average every three hours, a child without parents arrives in our country, a total of about 1,600 in the first six months of 2011.

 This is where their new life begins, but the start is messy, the die already cast. Rape, murder, war, betrayal, family violence, drugs and homelessness - none of the scourges that plague the human species have been spared. They made it off alive, but the memories that overshadow their days are greater than themselves.

Writer and journalist Catherine Vuylsteke followed the eight for one school year, from September 2010 to June 2011. The Nadaars and three guest photographers each portrayed one of the youngsters.

Catherine Vuylsteke

Catherine Vuylsteke is a sinologist, journalist and writer.

Loïc Delvaulx

Loïc Delvaulx is a Belgian photographer and cameraman.

Eric De Mildt

Eric de Mildt is a Belgian freelance photographer.

Bieke Depoorter

Bieke Depoorter is a Belgian photographer.

Tim Dirven

Tim Dirven is a Belgian freelance photographer.

Nick Hannes

Nick Hannes is a Belgian freelance photographer.

Jan Locus

Jan Locus is a Belgian photographer and filmmaker.

Alain Schroeder

Alain Schroeder is a Belgian photojournalist born in 1955.

Dieter Telemans

Dieter Telemans (°1971) is a Belgian photographer.
€14.000 allocated on 7/09/2010


  • Title: Vroeger is een ander land
  • Subtitle: acht aangespoelde jonge levens
  • Author: Catherine Vuylsteke
  • Editor: De Bezige Bij, Antwerpen
  • ISBN: 9789085422983
  • Date of publication: 12/10/2011
  • Pages: 272
  • Book presentation: 8/11/2011 


  • Editor: Nadaar editions
  • ISBN: 9789081812504
  • Pages: 239 pagina's
  • Price:  € 24,99
  • Book presentation: 22/11/2011


  • BELvue Museum, Paleizenplein 7, 1000 Brussel, 23/11/2011-29/01/2012.


  • 8/12/2011
  • with Catherine Vuylsteke, David Lowyck (director of centrum Minor Ndako) en Wouter Vandenhole (Unicef-chair University of Antwerp).
  • Info en inschrijvingen: +32 2 212 19 30 - www.deburen.eu