A visual study of the Ardennes by Belgium-based photographer Luuk van Raamsdonk. Currently studying at St Joost School of Arts in Breda, van Raamsdonk is interested in the mysteries of the world and often explores themes of memory, collective trauma, grief, and self-reflection. “What Once Was” is an ongoing project on a region that has fallen into a state of impermanence ever since the major industry moved to the bigger cities. The inhabitants that remain rely on the land and the few riches it offers. As van Raamsdonk describes the series:
“‘What once was’’ is an ongoing documentation of my encounters in this region. An attempt to visually capture the often mythological feeling that lurks in its backroads. It’s a meditation on the passing of time and humans in relation to their environment. Life and death are irrevocably present, sketching a melancholic but realistic picture. In the same breath it displays the many faces that despite the odds being stacked against them, chose to stay loyal and faithful to the forest and hills that surround them”
See more images from the project below!