Eyewitness in Brussels


“Eyewtiness in Brussels” was a thematic photography contest structured in collaboration with the Jewish Museum of Belgium. The theme of the contest, Eyewitness in Brussels, was directly related to Leonard Freed’s photography. A retrospective of this street photographer, member of the Magnum Photo Agency, was presented at the Jewish Museum from October 2018 till March 2019.

Freed witnessed key historical moments all over the world and immortalized them with his camera. As a street photographer, he walked around cities and captured moments of daily life. He attempted to denounce injustices, to underline the disorder of the world but also its beauty. This street photographer wanted to witness the society he was living in, its prejudices, inequalities, troubles. His testimony is not only an engaged message but also a reflection on issues that are still relevant today: minorities, LGBTI, civil wars, the role of the police.

With this contest, we wanted to see what people were witnessing in Brussels, in the streets, in the heart of the capital, but also in its less-known neighborhoods. The capital of Europe has a very specific dynamic with powerful institutions circling the cozy city center with its small streets.

The selection of the finalists and the winners was carried out in two rounds out by a jury composed of photographers, journalists, and curators including Pauline Beugnies, Bram Penninckx, Zahava Seewald, Charlotte Vandendwije, and Georges Vercheval.

The result was a selection of 30 pictures that in combination better represented the cultural diversity of Brussels. The selection made an emphasis on the varied perception of Brussels through the eyes of the participants, a colorful city that is often still in disorder. All finalist pictures were printed and displayed in the spaces of the Jewish Museum of Belgium for a month from Thursday, February 21, 2019, until Sunday, March 17, 2019.

Check out the Eyewitness in Brussels finalists here.


Daniel Osorio and Bruno Benvindo

In collaboration with

The Jewish Museum of Belgium

Thanks to

Bruno Benvindo, Zahava Seewald, Pascale Falek-Alhadeff and the Jewish Museum of Belgium team