Belgian photographer Bieke Depoorter captures intimate images of strangers' homes as she travels alone across Russia for her project 'Ou Menya'
"Photography guides me into the routes where I can stay amazed"
- Bieke Depoorter
Bieke Depoorter was born in 1986 in Kortrijk, Belgium. She received a Master’s Degree in Photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent in 2009. Her early colour photography work is the result of a unique approach: she captures the privacy of people whom she meets by chance and she gets them to invite her into their homes. She captures indescribable, fragile and intense moments, always with kindness.
For the “Ou Menya” series, the young artist travelled in Russia, to remote villages, for three months, guided by the Trans-Siberian Railway. This work won her several awards, including the Magnum Expression Award in 2009. Her first book, Ou Menya, was published by Lannoo (Belgium) in 2011.
For a similar long-term project entitled “I am about to call it a day”, the photographer went to the United States. A book of the same name was jointly published in 2014 by Edition Patrick Frey (Switzerland) and Hannibal (Belgium). With Sète#15, in photographs taken during an artistic residency for the festival l’image Singulières – the first time that Depoorter explores the thin line between fiction and documentary. She presents a nocturnal vision of the city, with a filmic dream-like atmosphere. Her photographs convey the muted pulsations of a sleeping city.
Depoorter finalized her first short movie Dvalemodus in 2017, which she directed together with musician Mattias De Craene. The film explores the everlasting darkness in a small village in the Northern Norway. Depoorter is currently working on a new book Who knows / Mumkin that will be published in October 2017. Since the beginning of the uprising in 2011 in Egypt, she tried to find trust in a country where mistrust predominates. When she was just 25 years old, she joined the Magnum agency, of which she became a nominee in 2012 and a full member in 2016.