Petit Château

Residents of the Petit Château Asylum Seeker Reception Centre, Brussels



Nestled in the heart of Brussels is the historic Petit Château, the oldest and largest reception centre for asylum-seekers in Belgium. The residents at Petit Château are not defined by their origins, beliefs, or the circumstances that led them to flee their homelands. Instead, they are united by a shared journey, one that has brought them to this temporary home, where they await the possibility of having their asylum applications granted and their lives transformed.

Amidst the challenges and uncertainties that define life in this reception centre, we initiated a photography project with the aim of capturing the essence of the asylum predicament. The driving force behind this endeavour was a simple yet profound intention: to shed light on the human side of the asylum-seeking process. This intention resonated deeply with the residents, inspiring them to actively participate in the project.

Through collaboration with the residents of Petit Château, we assembled a team of volunteers who helped prepare for the photo shoot. We provided training to some of them to become photographers, enabling them to take their own group photographs.

photo: Cécile Francken

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