Thursday, August 1, 2013

de stank van angstzweet
niet weg te krijgen
geen middel dat baat

taak vervuld
niet meer nodig
buitengezet zoals het grof huisvuil

Garbage - Marleen Hallaert 2013

erotisch en psychisch uitgehongerd
noch voedsel noch drank dat soelaas biedt
de stank van angstzweet

geen vlucht over het koekoeknest

's nachts knarsen, klauwen en vluchten
vechten met het dekbed en de nevels van de nacht

wakker worden
samen geklemde kaken
met de stank van angstzweet

voelen voelen voelen
en zwijgen

hoeveel keer moet een mens binnenin sterven
om de stank te verdrijven

leven langs de zijlijnen
de stap niet zetten

uitbarsten en uitbraken
uitdrijven en uitdruppen

en toch
de stank niet weg te krijgen.


PS interested in seeing more ?  Visit my photostream.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Communication and looking for the truth

Last Saturday a train derailed in a city less than 10 miles from my home. It was a freight train with 13 wagons. After the derailment, three of the wagons carrying acrylonitrile exploded and caught fire.

Demo - Photo taken in 2009 - Copyright Marleen Hallaert 2009

After that we heard the following in press conferences:
  • there are no wounded
  • the smoke and vapor are not poisonous
  • the derailment is because of poor maintenance of the tracks
  • the derailment is not because of poor maintenance of the tracks
  • the driver was driving too fast
  • the driver was not driving too fast
  • there are 3 casualties
  • there is 'only' one casualty
  • the casualty has nothing to do with the explosion nor the fire
  • the vapor and smoke is dangerous
  • we need an evacuation
  • the casualty is a direct result of the accident
  • the deceased cannot be taken out of his home because it is too dangerous for the first aid workers
  • there are 17 wounded people
  • there are more wounded people (49)
  • the evacuated can go home
  • the evacuated went home
  • the evacuated who were at home are re-evacuated
  • there are 102 people in the hospital
  • everybody near the accident should remove all food stuff from their homes
  • the driver did not have certification to drive in Belgium
  • the driver did have certification to drive in Belgium
  • the cows near the accident can still remain in their pasture, no problem
  • people in the village should not eat any fruits or vegetables from their garden
  • the governor blames the miscommunication to Murphy's law
  • a toxicologist went public to warn the population
  • the governor responded there are 'other toxicologists'
  • people in neighbouring villages should not eat vegetables or fruits from their garden
  • it is safe for the people in the neighbouring villages to consume the fruits and vegetables out of their garden
  • Today, May 8, it is confirmed that people in the perimeter will not be allowed to go to their homes before May 18
  • the train is still there, it is not safe to remove the remaining wagons
  • Fishing is not allowed in part of the Scheldt, because of the toxicity of the extinguishing water which was released in the Scheldt.
It has been a terrible week already, miscommunication, non-communication, trying to find some truth in all the garbled messages.

And today, the local police issued the following status update:

"People, stop asking the same questions - read the communication. If we are not knocking at your door to evacuate, you are safe for the moment! If you feel anything, call 101."

Sad world.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bridge builder

You built a bridge for me.
Cautiously but swiftly guided me to the other side.
And turned around.
The other side:
So many possibilities and  numerous openings
Still -
All by myself.


PS interested in seeing more ?  Visit my photostream.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I need your help

I urgently need a copywriter who can write (3000 characters maximum) about photographic portfolio and project. I cannot pay you, but I can offer you a photoshoot instead.

Hulp nodig! Wie kent er iemand die dringend (binnen de week) copy kan schrijven in NL (3000 karakters max.) over fotografisch oeuvre en project. Kan niet betalen, maar in ruil bied ik je een fotoshoot aan.

Thank you,
Dank je,


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pay it forward

One of the fastest growing 'hypes' I've seen over the past 24 hours is the 'Suspended Coffees' (in Dutch Uitgestelde Koffie).  A new way to to help somebody in need.  Everyone can help, by either paying in advance a hot beverage - or even some food - for people who need it and cannot afford it.

I love the idea, and I am not the only one, as all social media seem to have picked up this story.  In Oostende, one group of people started to implement the idea for coffee and hot soup.

I just hope my local cafés and brasseries will pick up on this and help as well.  The only thing I can do right now is just share the idea - you can as well so please share !

We'll see how it pans out.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Des Visages Des Figures

Inspired by the music and poetry of Noir Desir

Des visages, des figures
Dévisagent, défigurent
Des figurants à effacer
des faces A, des faces B


Des corps, des esprits me reviennent
Des décors, des scènes, des arènes
Hantez, hantez, faites comme chez vous, restez


(lyrics by Noir Désir, song Des Visages Des Figures)


PS interested in seeing more ?  Visit my photostream.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Switch off!

Today is Earth Hour!

Switch it off for an hour and take a look here to see what else you could be doing.


PS interested in seeing more ?  Visit my photostream.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

International Day of Happiness

March 20 - International Day of Happiness.

Established by the General Assembly of the United Nations on June 28, 2012.

Conscious that the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal...

What is happiness and why do we need a special day to celebrate it?  According to happiness is when your life fulfills your needs.  And the road to happiness is

  • Change your needs to fit your life
  • Change your life to fit your needs

Simple words, but quite a challenge.

Trapped (Oostende, a couple of years ago)


Just for fun

Sometimes life gets too serious, and I get too serious.

Mr. P fooling around in the studio (2009)

I cherish moments like these, just fooling around in the studio - no meaning, no agenda, just sheer fun. Whatever happens, happens.

And then this one thanks to Mr. P. who always is ready for some unexpected fun and jokes.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Saint Patrick's Day

No green beer nor green colored food items for me on March 17th.

But I do want to share my shamrock with you today.

According to tradition, they bring good luck. Each leaf of the four-leaved clover has a meaning: the first is for faith, the second is for hope, the third is for love, and the fourth is for luck.

Looking down can give you nice surprises.(photo 2007)

I'm already happy if it just brings a smile on your face.


PS interested in seeing more ?  Visit my photostream.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Ice Cold

Ice cold 

Waking up 

Wet face 

Bedding balled up somewhere on the floor 

Strange wars being fought out during the night 

No winners 

Crushing elevators and angry men 

Running without escape 


Thankful for morning light.


Friday, March 15, 2013

This night too will pass

This night too will pass (photo 2008)

Ich will mit dem gehen, den ich liebe.
Ich will nicht ausrechnen, was es kostet.
Ich will nicht nachdenken, ob es gut ist.
Ich will nicht wissen, ob er mich liebt.
Ich will mit ihm gehen, den ich liebe.

Bertolt Brecht

I want to go with the one I love.
I do not want to calculate the cost.
I do not want to think about whether it's good.
I do not want to know whether he loves me.
I want to go with whom I love. 

Bertolt Brecht


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Papal Conclave 2013

Ghent Cemetary

With 90 cardinals of the 115 cardinal electors over  80 years old in the papal conclave of 2013, I guess we should not expect much 'change' in the near future.


PS interested in seeing more ?  Visit my photostream.

Long Winter

Just a little more patience needed to welcome the spring 2013.

Due to the snowstorm today,  more than 1600 km traffic jam in Belgium - a new record.  Trains have been cancelled to and from Brussels late in the morning.  I wonder how the commuters will get home today.

Studio - playing with ice

Lucky me, I am teleworking today and can write a little blog during lunchtime :-)


Monday, March 11, 2013

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Get Rhythm

Get Rhythm When You Get Blues as Ry Cooder sang in 1987 - although this is a cover of a Johnny Cash song.

Hey, get rhythm when you get the blues
Come on, get rhythm when you get the blues
Get a rock 'n' roll feelin' in your bones
Put taps on your toes and get gone
Get rhythm when you get the blues

Studio shot, trying to capture movement

So we try, even if tomorrow there will be a different kind of ever increasing work rhythm at play.


PS interested in seeing more ?  Visit my photostream.


After a promise of spring, another very grey and gloomy day.

I want colors and light !

Tomatoes on my kitchen table (on a day with a tad more light)

PS interested in seeing more ?  Visit my photostream.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Monday, March 4, 2013


Some pictures don't need words.  Like this one.  I think the expression on the faces tell everything which needs to be told.  It's about the emotion being captured.

Taken a couple of years ago in my neighborhood.  An area labelled 'the ghetto' by some of my new city council members.

Damn proud to live here.



PS interested in seeing more ?  Visit my photostream.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


March, month of hope.

Hope of some warmth, the beginning of spring, if we are lucky.  This year's winter seems to have been extremely long, but it is probably just a perception.

Hope to be able to shed the extra layers of bedding, and live in longer days.  Hope to enjoy the first rays of spring on a sidewalk cafe, or -even better- to take a walk in the woods.  Hope to see the best colors of the year, with the delicate greens, indicating the new life there is after the temporary death or rest of winter.

Let it come.

Hallerbos in spring

PS interested in seeing more ?  Visit my photostream.

Thursday, February 28, 2013


When going to the railway station an early morning last week, a couple of young guys literally ran into me.  Hard as well.  My first thoughts were pickpockets but no, they had not seen me (an apology would have been nice).


Surveys have shown that women over 46 become "invisible".   They get run into, overlooked, and feel it as well.  Ever thought about all the botox, nips and tucks this generation so willingly undergoes?  The efforts being made into looking younger?

Supposedly, it is a genetic thing, men's brains wired to look at young fertile women and oversee the older ones.

Funnily enough, about the time women turn 60, they become a little more visible again, but then as 'old ladies', senior citizens.  Although these days 60-year olds are still fit and active, our brains still haven't caught up with the new reality.

So I suppose the only thing I can do is stand tall, take and fill my space, and make sure I am not overlooked.


PS interested in seeing more ?  Visit my photostream.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Patterns and bragging rights

People who know me well and my photography know how I love to photograph geometric shapes and patterns.  Even better when there is just one little disturbing element in them.  Seeing these almost "picture-perfect" shapes make my day, especially since I never arrange a scene in my photography.

Being Belgian I was raised to be humble, not to blow my own horn, even not to mention your own success.

One of the 30 pictures on Nikon's photobooth.

On my birthday last month, I received an email from Nikon Belgium, asking if they could use one of my photographs on their photobooth during the Photo Business Days, in Brussels on February 24-25, 2013.

Of course I said yes, imagine my pride and gratitude, thinking of my picture being one of the 30 images displayed in their booth.

Writing about this is yet another broken pattern.


Monday, February 25, 2013


Over the past couple of years I've had to say too many goodbyes.  And I am not good at it either.  This week there is another goodbye I am forced to say.
Such is life - it is what it is - accept what life throws at you - accept choices other people have made,  or were forced to make;  equally accept our own voluntary or involuntary choices.

So here's to you - and you know who you are.  Sad to see you go, thankful for the time we spent together, thankful for the friendship, the guidance and the lessons we thought each other.
Wishing you good speed, great projects to work on, and Be Happy Hope to hear from you, and see you from time to time.  Dance to the music life throws at you.  And don't forget to make your own music and dance to it  from time to time.

(je Indiaantje)

PS interested in seeing more ?  Visit my photostream.

Music is my madeleine

It never ceases to amaze me how the involuntary memory works.  Hearing the first notes of Mozart's Piano Concerto 23 and I am instantly transported back more than 35 years ago - Sunday around lunchtime, lunch being prepared by Mom and Dad enjoying 'a small Mozart before lunch' as he called it.

These musical memories are a big present and also a curse.  Van Morrison's Moondance will always remind me of a tender first kiss on a sunny summer night, and Taiko music will always remind me of a dear friend I recently had to say goodbye to.

Going through my cd-collection is stepping back in the past, with all the joys and pains that brings.  It is meeting old friends with bittersweet memories.

Maarten Van Ingelgem at the piano - Mazzic 2013

Recently I was lucky enough to be able to attend all the concerts of MAZZIC 5 - the fifth edition of a local music festival in Aalst, curated this year by Jan Michiels. The joy of it is that, not only did I enjoy all the music when attending the concerts, but they will bring me joy and incredible feelings in all the years to come, when hearing the pieces that were played that weekend.  Although some were one-offs and can only be played back in my head.


PS interested in seeing more ?  Visit my photostream.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Walls, Windows and some thoughts

Earlier this week I was talking to a qualified doctor about social media and loneliness.  Hours, days, months spent  decreasing the big, wonderful world to a "monitor" of 21 inches. Despite these hours spent on the computer in the safety of our homes, more people are lonely than ever.  Despite the possibility of more communication than ever, there is a lot of noise, and not much real talk.  Where the same news items show up on the walls endlessly in the different shapes and and slightly different format, seen from our first row seats or 'loge'.

People are getting defined by their presence on the different sites, and let computer models decide who they should or should not date.  If and when it comes to a real life encounter, in many cases there is a big disappointment.  Because on the net, you are who you want to be, and not necessary who you really are.

How 10% of web users are web dependent. Some of us suffer from IAD, but that could be an overuse of the internet as a form of self-medication for depression.  However, virtual engagements do not stimulate the release of neurotransmitters, such as oxytocin and endorphins, the way real life interactions do. Communication Addiction Disorder is another behavior disorder related to the need of being constantly in virtual communication with other people, even when there is no practical necessity for such communication (think Facebook, Youtube, Twitter,...)

As someone responsible for social media in the job, and spending a lot of time on the web in my free time, it first made me laugh.  And then it struck.

Time to switch off on a more regular basis, and venture in the real world, how freightening that might be.