Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Brussels Midwinter

Scenes from the wintry streets of the Belgian capital just after the war, part of a batch of found photographs taken by a British serviceman on duty in Northern Europe.  They make an interesting record of the city in painful transition from war into peace.  Powdery snow gathers between the cobblestones and freezes in the gutters while pedestrians hunch up against the cold. The swastikas have been burned and the streets are free of the emblems of occupation. Commercial life is returning and the trams are running.  There are posters on display in the Place de Brouckère for Un Bal Surréaliste at the Academie du Beaux Arts (Salle de la Madeleine) on February 8th. - a frivolity that could never have happened under occupation. With privately owned vehicles in short supply, traffic is light and there are long queues at the tram stop. Some landmark buildings can be identified including the Monumental Palais de Justice and the Hotel Metropole (which closed in 2020). The photographer has composed with care and discovered unexpected poetry in the near deserted cobbled streets dusted with snow.


No comments: