Buitenmensen square

Countryfolk - The voice of the countryside

Exhibition Countryfolk is a colourful account of a journey of 2,000 blissfully slow kilometres through the countryside. Driving an old tractor and pulling a trailer converted into a recording studio, photographer and storyteller Jelle Vermeersch documented his encounters with country dwellers through visual images. A motley succession of farmers, priests, innkeepers, refugees, former coal miners, hairdressers, artists, politicians, veterinary surgeons, managers, barons and F16 pilots files past. People whose lives and anecdotes are inextricably linked to the bigger story of the countryside.

St Peter's Abbey

From 20 October 2023 to 14 April 2024, inclusive

From Tuesday until Sunday, from 10am until 6pm.

Find all practical info here

Could there be a pleasanter way to bring a little serenity into our frantic lives than meandering through the tranquil countryside? This thought must surely cross the mind of most of us from time to time. But does it ever occur to us that there is so much more to the countryside than that?

The exhibition Countryfolk is the candid account of one man’s blissfully slow, 2,000-kilometre journey through the countryside in all seasons, driving an old tractor and towing a recording studio. Photographer and storyteller Jelle Vermeersch returned to his roots, photographing and conversing with people whose lives and anecdotes are inextricably linked to the bigger story of the countryside. That journey opened his eyes to more than just its beauty...

The journey took me all over Belgium. To the Westhoek, the Borinage, the Ardennes, Limburg and back to Ghent via the polders and the Dutch province of Zeeland. Through the passing seasons: summer, autumn, winter, spring and back to summer again. Along the way, he talked to the locals and captured them in photographic portraits. He connected with them and gauged their thoughts and feelings. This succession of encounters became a slow-motion road movie set among the fields of Reningelst, the busy back roads of Frameries, the forests of Saint-Hubert, the country lanes of central Limburg and the panoramic views of the Drowned Land of Saeftinghe. - Jelle Vermeersch

Result: an emotive tapestry of words and images and at times of harsh truths, a tapestry to be unpicked, questioned, absorbed and cherished...

Late Donderdag

Op de Late Donderdag van 7 maart 2024 kan je mee op een rondleiding met Jelle Vermeersch.

Boek hier je ticket!

Countryfolk in the cinema

  • 21.11.2023, 8pm: The Straight Story (David Lynch, 1999)
  • 19.12.2023, 8pm: De Witte Van Sichem (Robbe De Hert, 1980)
  • 23.01.2024, 8pm: Rundskop (Michaël Roskam, 2011)
  • 20.02.2024, 8pm: Eldorado (Bouli Lanters, 2008)
  • 26.03.2024, 8pm: Lazarro Felice (Alice Rohrwacher, 2018)
Discover the film programme here!