alban biaussat








the wall of chicon/witloof



Introduced in the early 1920s and formally established in 1962-63, the linguistic border determines the administrative language and, since 1970, the limits of the new federal entities in Belgium.

As a result of historical events and successive foreign occupations, this pseudo-border was born of a political compromise between the two main linguistic communities in the country: the French-speaking and the Dutch-speaking one. In several areas throughout the country, chiefly around Brussels, rivalries persist due to identity and economical issues.

This photographic project is intended to represent the territory’s division through an indispensable degree of derision, which hopes to help underline the recurrent issues of contention, as well as the myths of understanding that prevail on each side of the internal frontier, which some have called the “Chicory Wall”.

Images of this vegetable, which was accidentally invented during the Belgian Revolution in 1830, have been projected all over the landscape. This visual installation is, therefore, a nod to the surrealist dimension in the current separation process within the country. Surrealism, present in art, humour and politics, has become Belgium’s strong brand identity.

This project has received expert advice and friendly support from Stéphane Rillaerts, author of several scientific essays on the linguistic borders in Belgium.