Katleen Gils obtained a Master’s degree in Photography, Cultural Management and also studied visual creative therapy.

In her life and work, the following three pillars are always present:

PHOTOGRAPHY. Fascinated by different cultures, she likes to immerse herself in them, and lets herself be moved and guided by the images around her. She uses her camera to give a critical voice to the habits and customs of locals, to stimulate the spectator, to set things in motion. She likes to connect in a creative way with the other(s) through which she makes them move both creatively and mentally.

ART. As an (art) photographer and mixed-media artist, she connects with herself and sometimes with others. A creative process that brings new insights and ideas every time. She creates what she sees in her mind, without needing words. She often uses instant photo and colored tape; the imperfect gives her the freedom to let go of not being perfect, the colored tape provides additional form of freedom and often reminds her of her early years in Africa.

CONCEPTS. Through her knowledge, skills and creativity, she develops projects for socio-innovative organisations to help them better understand/reach their target groups. For this she connects with the client, the group, and the individual. For her, photography is a tool to help others connect with themselves. In this way, she plants seeds wherever she goes. She usually shifts the participants’ attention to something positive and moves them creatively from certain questions. In this way, it often has a ripple effect on the mental well-being of the participants.

Interactions often occur between these three pillars. Example of a photo project called ‘Locked Insight’. Through dialogues with young people, an interaction emerges between the photographer, and the young people who are also creating. These young people are guided to find a POWER word. From this, they are encouraged to make a POWER image. In a world where negativity and low self-esteem are omnipresent, the focus is shifted to something positive.

In the past, these projects have been supported by Nikon Belgium, Fujifilm Belgium, Imprenta, Agrafa Affichage, FOMU, Breedbeeld vzw, De Studio, Fameus & Stad Antwerpen.

Partners: Breedbeeld vzw, FOMU, BeHuman vzw, Africalia vzw, Togo Debout vzw, Formaat vzw, Scum Studios, Vrijuit, Recht-Op Jongeren, KRAS, Wingerdbloei vzw, Kaaiman, Stad Antwerpen, Opvangcentrum Linkeroever, KDG hogeschool.

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