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Agence VU - Brigitte Grignet
Brigitte Grignet

Born in 1968 in Belgium, she first studied economics and business. She turned to photography in 1998 and studied with Joan Litin and Mary Ellen Mark at the International Center of Photography in New York, where she lived for 15 years.

In 2011 she was rewarded with the Aaron Siskind Foundation Grant for the project she worked on for seven years in the south of Chile, “La Cruz del Sur,” where she recorded a way of life slowly disappearing, with its centuries-old social structures and cultural traditions. She received the Marty Forscher Grant for Emerging Photographer in 2001, and the Fotografiecircuit Vlaanderen from the Photography Museum in Charleroi (Belgium) in 2003.

She is a 2016 Magnum Emergency Fund Grantee for her project “Welcome,” that documents the reality of unaccompanied children seeking asylum in Belgium.

Brigitte worked with Action Against Hunger in Guatemala, Colombia, and Palestine. She tells a story of people and their indomitable will to survive difficult situations and their continual quest to build and live within a life of dignity and grace.

Her images have been exhibited internationally and are included a.o. in the collections of the Kyosato Museum of Photography, The Photography Museum in Charleroi, the Portland Art Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson.

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Mexico (2018-ongoing) (2019)

After the years spent with Mary Ellen Mark, Mexico only existed in black and white in my world. It was inhabited by little girls with big dresses, circus acrobats, and lots of dogs. When I was invited in Oaxaca for an artist residency in 2018, I felt I was going back to a familiar place. About 400 kilometers south of Mexico City, Oaxaca claims its indigenous culture. The past is everywhere, and the circles of time seem to invite the visitor to forget corruption, violence, migration, -but the dramatic Mexican news is never very far away. Social inequalities regularly push people on the street. But these days it all felt quiet. There was the intense light, the lush vegetation, music...

Poland (2019)

In 2016 I set off to explore Poland, after a conversation I had with a Polish friend, who was wondering about the future of her country. “I’d better go and see my country now, she said, before it disappears.” I had been to Krakow and its countryside several times but that summer, we traveled to rural places, further east. In Poland, since the ultra conservative Law and Justice party swept into power in 2015, the climate has been tense and the nation is increasingly divided politically. The government antidemocratic drift causes concern: purge of public media, army, and public function, limitation of civic rights, reform of the education system and rewriting of history books, measures...

Welcome (2016)

Since the dawn of time people have migrated. There are now more displaced people and refugees than at any other time in recorded history. Among those who go into exile, some are more vulnerable than others. In 2015 one in four asylum seekers in Europe was a child, some unaccompanied by parents, sent by them into exile because they saw no future for them at home. Some lost their parents on the way. Tens of thousands of unaccompanied children arrived by sea. Some walked thousands of miles. They come younger and younger. In the meantime borders are closing, fear and xenophobia are rising. In Europe today, the climate is tense and paranoid. In 18 months terrorism has claimed 236 lives...

Present Perfect (2015)

One day on a tiny island in the south of Chile, my friend's grandfather offered to give me a piece of land. Surely we could build a little house there. He had absolutely no doubt that it would provide me with a better life than living by myself in a small apartment in Brooklyn. I was touched but even my most romantic self could not fathom the idea of picking potatoes for the rest of my life. Later he sent me home with 5 kilos of fresh garlic, dried mint, and homemade woolen shoes. There was no space left in my backpack for the potatoes .   For the past 15 years I have taken numerous boats, planes, buses. My camera has always been with me. Photography helps me to confront the world, and...

Trouble Life, Northern Ireland (2014)

« Going to Derry is like traveling to an exotic country, » Anne says. Anne lives in Letterkenny, in the Republic of Ireland, 35 kms from Derry, located across the border, in Northern Ireland. She remembers the time when she had to go through checkpoints. « If you are from around here, you can still see the former border crossings. It is a reminder that everything has not been solved and divisions remain.» In 1998 the Good Friday agreement put an end to Northern Ireland’s conflict which had made more than 3.500 victims in 30 years, in what is known as « The Troubles ». But 16 years later, Northern Ireland remains a largely divided society, with Protestant and Catholic communities...

Belgium, The Fishermen Children (2014)

IBIS was created on the 6 of July 1906 by King Albert in Ostend (Belgium) to offer a home and a maritime school to orphan boys whose father had perished at sea. Traditionally the children would be taken in by other fishermen families. But it was a heavy charge and the boys would often end up working in the fields. IBIS offered them a home and a professional education, allowing them to follow in their ancestors’ trade and tradition. Nowadays, IBIS is not only an orphanage, it is now a boarding school for boys coming from families in difficult situations, boys showing behaviour problems or suffering from affective or social neglect. There are 110 boys at most, ranging from 6 to 16 years...

Isola Comacina (2013)

There is always a persistent noise, somewhere, despite the neverending quest for being fully in the present. Today I am escaping my to-do lists and fleeing to Isola Comacina on the Como Lake. The suitcase is ready, the photo bag is in the trunk. Kilometers fly by but I am already thinking about what I’d like to accomplish. Stubborn habits. The house is waiting, bright and chilly. Birds got quiet, for a moment. Ducks are not used to our presence yet and hares are hiding. The night came upon us, alone on the island, with the only human presence of Erick next door. In the morning we leave on expeditions. On the steps of Kafka and Stendhal, it is easy to be seduced by the grace of the lake,...

Aysen, Patagonia (2012)

"I went to Aysén to create the memory of what exists there now and might be disappearing soon. This project wants to show the Patagonia that could be lost forever, record its endangered landscapes and the people targeted by a huge hydroelectric project. Located at the tip of the world, Aysén is among the most remote and undisturbed areas of Patagonia. With the support of the government, HydroAysén is trying to build - by 2020 - 5 dams and hydroelectric plants on the Baker and Pascua Rivers. These dams would create artificial lakes, flooding a large part of the region. They would irreversibly damage one of the wildest and most beautiful place on earth. What would be lost is priceless:...

New York, This is not America (2011)

I said: “New York is not America”. He laughed sarcastically. I hung up. No point. Great timing for breaking up, I thought, today I just turned 40. The floor was shaking with my neighbor’s Caribbean music and I could hear some shuffling noise in the linen’s drawers. Mice again. Damned. Better to take the F train and head to the beach. Lunapark was still open. A couple of wooden horses were staring at me blankly. Three tattooed men were fishing, and Russian women were sporting fluorescent bright red lipstick and skin that had seen many intense summers. The sidewalk smelled like hot dogs. A man was feeding an army of seagulls, he started to yell at me. While a cop was chasing a group of...

Palestine (2008)

60 years after the creation of the state of Israel, the future of the Palestinian people still looks very precarious and hopeless. With no freedom of movement, limited access to health care, education, employment, natural resources, they nevertheless have to keep surviving day after day., with dignity, despite of all. For most people, occupation, suicide bombings, checkpoints are all abstract concepts, they are just a headline in the newspapers. We can only feel empathy when we hear people’s stories, when we can relate on a human level. The Palestinians are not just statistics, daily news on television. They are about 4 millions living in the Palestinian Territories, each with their every...

Chiloe archipelago (2008)

Chileans used to have a saying: “En Chile no pasa nada – In Chile nothing happens.” But it has not been heard in years. Chile used to be a postcard sent from the end of the world, a country with a strange shape, the success story of South America. Then came 1973 and Pinochet... I set off to explore for the first time in 2002. I wanted to confront reality and the country that had grown in my imagination. After 3 weeks, I ended up on an island called Chiloé. Chiloé is an archipelago in the tenth region of Chile, approximately 1.100 kilometers south of Santiago. The first Spanish colonists came to Chiloé in the mid-sixteenth century and lived in peace with the island’s native Chono people...

Here and Now (2006)

Every day, we see and we hear so many things. It is a bit like if someone was telling us a story, never finished, with a thousand and one details. Suddenly there is a surprise. Something ordinary, an emotion. Life has moved and we are amazed. Bits of things speak to us, others get lost, never reaching us. In these moments of acute awareness, the world seems like a new place. Before the mind has analyzed the meaning of the moment, my finger has already pressed the shutter, intuitively. The year, the place lost their importance…. The images seem to create their own universe. Even if I feel connected to the outside, to the people around me, it is as if the perception of the world brings us...

Chile, la Cruz del Sur (2006)

Chiloé is an archipelago 1.100 kilometers south of Santiago in Chile. Its isolation has allowed a strong sense of kinship, and of identity. The island has developed its own mythology and culture, reflecting the constant struggle with the land and the sea. These are the stories of an island that believes in ghost ships, witches, God, and the power of community. A land of rainbows and potatoes. A place where church towers help fishermen to come home.

Indians from Colombia : El Corazon del Mundo (2006)

In the Sierra Nevada, in the northern mountains of Colombia, the guerilla is hiding. The paramilitary is looking for them. Young soldiers are everywhere. And the Indians are trying to survive a conflict that doesn’t really concern them.

Palestine, unfortunately it was paradise (2005)

The Middle East conflict is probably one of the most studied conflicts in history. Every day we hear about the Occupied Territories but all we can get from the news is a feeling of confusion and violence. Behind the sensational images we see on television, are human faces, families, everyday lives. Those ones suffer once again war’s violence after months of precarious cease-fire. After the uncertainty of following days, succeeds a wild fear of each moment. This conflict, more and more incomprehensible, find its raison d’être in the ignorance and in the fear of the other. What is distinguish a Palestinian people from an Israeli is finally the object of the fear itself: an explosive belt for...

Guatemala (2004)

With a heavy past of dictatures, civil wars, genocides and discrimination towards the Mayan communities, interference from the United States, inequity in the distribution of the land, criminality, Guatemala is much more than a touristic destination and a market with radiant colors. Beyond the exoticism, Guatemala is the 3rd poorest country in America.

USA, Angels and Spiders (1999)

Angels & Spiders is the story of a road trip between New York and New Orleans. It talks about America, being on the road, looking at malls, motels, and other artifacts of the New World, but also imagining our own fiction in the world that we move into, when facts have ceased. These are the stories of the angels and spiders that we meet on our path.


Present Perfect

Brigitte Grignet photographie depuis plus de quinze ans, dans un noir et blanc carré classique et contrasté, aussi bien ses déambulations en voyage que des sujets de société, des faits d’actualité, des situations humaines spécifiques. Son approche est à la fois directe et tendre, très sensible, mais témoigne surtout d’une exigence de regard et d’une qualité d’écriture à travers la lumière tout à fait reconnaissables et qui sont la signature des tout grands auteurs en photographie. Faisant la part belle à l’Amérique latine (Chili, Patagonie…), le livre inclut, dans un va-et-vient souple entre l’ici et l’ailleurs, entre le dehors et l’intime, des images glanées dans d’autres contextes, en Belgique comme à l’étranger.

Publisher: Yellow Now (2015)
120 pages
Size: 21 x 16,5 cm
ISBN :978-2-87340-372-0   

Plastic Cameras: Toying with Creativity, Second Edition

The first complete guide to the world of toy camera photography. Originally released in 2006, and called "the definitive book on the subject" by Shutterbug, the second edition makes "Plastic Cameras" even more comprehensive and up-to-date, with a new foreword by Mary Ann Lynch.
Starting with a history and explanation of what these cameras are and where they came from, and continuing with 30 portfolios showing off the range and depth of the images these cameras can create, photos by 49 incredible photographers illustrate the book.
Text by: Michelle Bates

Publisher: Focal Press (2010)
ISBN :0240814215   

Misère urbaine : La faim cachée

Photographies : Jane Evelyn Atwood, Claudine Doury, Isabelle Eshraghi, Brigitte Grignet et Laurence Leblanc
Les Gonaïves en Haïti, Naplouse dans les territoires palestiniens, Oulan Bator en Mongolie, Kinshasa en République Démocratique du Congo et Freetown en Sierra Leone, Buenos Aires en Argentine, chaque photographe témoigne de l'inacceptable précarité dans laquelle vivent les populations.
Text by: Jean-Christophe Rufin, Roland Castro et Jacques Attali

Publisher: Au Diable Vauvert (2006)
128 pages
ISBN :2846261121   

Regards sur le monde : Les visages de la faim

À l'occasion de ses vingt-cinq ans d'existence, Action contre la faim a demandé à cinq femmes photographes de partir en reportage à travers le monde pour illustrer le combat quotidien, et jamais achevé, qui est la raison d'être de l'association. Chacune à sa façon - Isabelle Eshraghi en Afghanistan, Brigitte Grignet au Guatemala, Jane Evelyn Atwood au Malawi, Laurence Leblanc en Somalie et Claudine Doury en Mongolie - nous offre un certain regard sur l'un des multiples visages de la faim dans le monde. La confrontation de ces cinq visions de femmes, témoins et artistes, fait de cet ouvrage le reflet de ce projet exceptionnel, à la fois constat et manifeste ; la beauté des photographies révèle, par contraste, l'urgence dans laquelle vivent ces populations.
Text by: Jean-Christophe Rufin

Publisher: Acropole Belfond (2004)
223 pages
Size: 28x27,5 cm
ISBN :2735702545   


    2017 - Prize of the Ministrer of Culture - National Open Photography Award of the Musée de la Photographie, Charleroi (Belgium) for the series Present Perfect

    2016 - Magnum Emergency Fund Grantee for her project Welcome

    2011 - Aaron Siskind Foundation Grant for her series on Chile

    2008 - Silver Prize of the Visual Culture Awards for "Chiloe" photo essay

    2008 - Golden Prize of the Visual Culture Awards for "Chiloe" Environmental portrait

    2003 - Fotocircuit Vlaanderen Prize from The Museum of Photography in Charleroi (Belgium)

    2001 - Marty Forscher Grant for Emerging Photographer


From 2015-11-05 to 2015-11-22

Brigitte Grignet participates in a group show at the Botanique Cultural Centre of the Federation Wallonia - Brussels. For ten years now, and with around twenty titles to date, the Angles vifs series published by Yellow Now in its photography collection illuminates the world of young francophone Belgian photographers, offering emerging or established artists the opportunity to publish a first monograph. This autumn the Botanique, invite you, in two simultaneous but certainly not exhaustive exhibitions, to “venir voir” (or “voir venir”) what inspires some of the leading lights of...

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CHILOE - LA Cruz del Sur (The Hague)
From 2008-06-28 to 2008-09-21

The Chileans used to have a saying: “En Chile no pasa nada – Nothing happens in Chile.” Back then Chile was a postcard sent from the end of the world, a strangely shaped country, the success story of South America. But then came Pinochet. Today, the country is still in the process of attempting both to reconcile itself with its past and to modernise. Chiloé is an archipelago 1,100 km south of Santiago. Its isolation has created a strong sense of identity and community. The island has developed its own mythology and its own culture, refl ecting the constant struggle with water and land....

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