10 January 2020


The long-term projects of photographer and filmmaker Jan Locus study the complexity of worldwide, socio-political issues. His books include Mongolia, De Bewegende Stad and Devoted. His films have been screened at IFFR Rotterdam (NL), DokFest Kassel (DE), Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen (DE), Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin (FR/DE), Asolo Art Film Festival (IT), Split International Festival of New Film (HR) and FIFA Montreal (CA) among others. He lives and works in Brussels.


Photographer and filmmaker Jan Locus’s long-term projects study the complexity of worldwide, socio-political issues. Since 1997 Jan Locus has travelled regularly to Mongolia. After seventy years of socialism and the fall of communism, he observes how people attempt to build a new life for themselves. Without pathos, the photos in the book Mongolia (2005) show the difficult conditions in towns and mining industry, and the hard life in the vast steppes. Mongolia has received ‘The Plantin Moretus Award’ and was selected for ‘Photobook Belge’, a publication and exhibition by FOMU, Photo Museum Antwerp (2019).
Often Locus’s work focuses — either directly or indirectly — on religion and problems that relate to it. In his book Devoted (2012) for example, he shows all sorts of expressions of Christian faith: from pilgrims in Spain and Poland to ecstatic worshippers in Mexico.
Garbage City (2013), Locus’s first film, shows various positions with regard to the different ways of treating rubbish and the miserable living conditions in (the outskirts of) Cairo. Garbage City combines long shots of scrapheaps, compressed plastic and hard-working labourers with the sound of rattling machines, cars hooting and pigeons cooing.
Locus’s often subtle soundtrack has a prominent part in other works as well. Confusing Drum (2016) uses drum-rolls and voice-overs — opinions and political statements by locals — to talk about the deep-rooted conflict between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland. Confusing Drum premiered at DokFest Kassel (2017).
In The Distance between Us (2017) the soundtrack plays once more a crucial part. It mixes religious songs and emotionally charged messages from a Moroccan mother to her two sons in Molenbeek, who belong to the first generation of immigrants. For this soundtrack, the artist uses found footage: he uses a few rare cassette tapes that served as alternative correspondence. The Distance between Us premiered at IFFR Rotterdam (2018) and was nominated for the Found Footage Award at IFFR.
Murmur (2019) is an exploration of the dawn at the swamp of Ganshoren, the last bit of swamp in Brussels. The film has been realised in a collaboration with sound artist Stijn Demeulenaere. Murmur won the second prize at The Engine Room International Sound Art Competition, London (UK) and world premiered at IFFR Rotterdam (2020).

(Sofie Crabbé)


Masters of the Land (2021), Murmur (2020), The Distance Between Us (2018), Confusing Drum (2016)


Devoted, Lannoo (2012), Mongolia, FOMU, Museum for Photography Antwerp & Cypres (2005), De Bewegende Stad, FOMU, Museum for Photography Antwerp (1997)


  • 2022, PROYECTOR, Plataforma de Videoarte, Madrid (ES)
  • 2022, ETHNOCINECA, International Documentary Film Festival Vienna (AT)
  • 2022, Breedbeeld Film Festival, guest program curated by film magazine Fantômas (BE)
  • 2022, Braziers International Film festival, Ipsden (UK)
  • 2022, The First Persian Independant Experimental Short Film Festival, Tehran (IR)
  • 2022, In-Sonora, 12th International showing of Sound and Interactive Art, Madrid (ES) 
  • 2022, Hummingbird Film Festival (ID)
  • 2021, Split Videoart Festival, Split (HR) 
  • 2021, Internationale Festival Zeichen der Nacht (Signes de Nuit), Berlin (DE)
  • 2021, Festival ECRÃ, Rio de Janeiro (BR)
  • 2021, Asolo Art Film Festival, Asolo (IT) 
  • 2021, Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (DE)
  • 2021, DOBRA – Int’l Experimental Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro (BR)
  • 2021, FICBUEU Experimental Competition, Bueu, Pontevedra (ES) 
  • 2021, International Festival Signs of the Night (Signes de Nuit), Bangkok (TH)
  • 2021, CROSSROADS film festival, San Francisco Cinematheque (US)
  • 2021, Festival international Signes de Nuit, Paris (Fr) 
  • 2021, ANTIMATTER [Media Art], Victoria (CA) 
  • 2021, TRANÅS AT THE FRINGE International Screening of Experimental Films (SE)
  • 2021, ISFFC International Short Film Festival Canton (CH)
  • 2021, Hummingbird Film Festival (ID)
  • 2021, International Moving Film Festival, Khouzestan (IR)
  • 2021, Kinemastik International Short Film Festival (MA)
  • 2021, Festival internacional Signos da Noite, Lisboa (PO)
  • 2021, Swedenborg Film Festival, London (UK)
  • 2021, Underneath the Floorboards, Media Art/ Experimental Film, London (UK) 
  • 2021, winner SIGNS AWARD Festival internazionale Segni della Notte, Urbino (IT)
  • 2021, Festival internazionale Segni della Notte, Urbino (IT)
  • 2021, World premiere Masters of the Land at RENCONTRES INTERNATIONALES PARIS/BERLIN Live streaming from Louvre auditorium Program “The machine man and ecstasy”
  • 2021 BRAZIERS, International Film Festival, Braziers Park, Oxfordshire (UK)
  • 2021, “This Is Where We Are Right Now” – 8th annual video art exhibition at the Aggregate Space Gallery, Oakland (CA)
  • 2021 BAFF, Brussels Art Film Festival, Brussels (BE)
  • 2021 ARKIPEL Int’l Documentary and Experimental Film Festival, Jakarta (ID)
  • 2020 winner GRAND PRIX , Split Videoart Festival (Split, HR)
  • 2020 Asolo Art Film Festival, Asolo (IT)
  • 2020 ARKIPEL International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival, Jakarta (ID)
  • 2020 So Far/ So Close (solo) Schönfeld Gallery, Rivoli building, Brussels (BE)
  • 2020 FIFA, International Festival of Films on Art, Montreal (CA)
  • 2020 Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, Paris (FR)

2020 World premiere Murmur at IFFR, International Film Festival Rotterdam (NL)
2020 Schönfeld Gallery, Brussels (BE)
2019 VIDEO BAR, On Screen Writing, ARGOS, Brussels (BE)
2019 IKLECTIK Art Lab, London (UK)
2019 51. Ausstellungsprojekt, Kunstverein: projektraum-bahnhof25, Kleve (DE)
2019 Photobook Belge, FOMU, Antwerp (BE)
2018 International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (DE)
2018 World premiere The Distance Between Us at IFFR, International Film Festival Rotterdam (NL)
2018 De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam (NL)
2018 Un|settled EXPO, KAAP, Ostend (BE)
2018 EUROVIDEO, European Videoart Festival, Liege (BE)
2018 Symposium, ISELP, Brussels (BE)
2017 DOKfest, Kassel (DE)
2017 COM NU TIES, ARGOS & ISELP, Brussels (BE)
2015 Brugge Foto Festival (BE)
2013 Devoted, Kadoc, Leuven (BE)
2012 Devoted, book presentation & exhibition, Museum Dr. Guislain Gent (BE)
2011 Flanders Gallery International House, Osaka (JP)
2011 In The Margin, Belgian Documentary Photography, Guislain Museum, Ghent (BE)
2011 BELvue museum & Royal Palace, Brussels (BE)
2010 BELvue museum & Royal Palace, Brussels (BE)
2009 Work in progress, Nadaar, KASK, Ghent (BE)
2008 Traces of Devotion, Provinciehuis Louvain (BE)
2008 Kulturpolis, Poznan (PL)
2007 Noorderlicht International Photo Manifestation Groningen (NL)
2006 7 Photographers & 1 Smits, Jakob Smitsmuseum, Mol (BE)
2005 Mongolia, book presentation & exhibition, FOMU, Antwerp (BE)
2003 Agfa Internationaler Preis Für Jungen Bildjournalismus (DE)


  • 2021 SIGNS AWARD Festival internazionale Segni della Notte, Urbino (IT)
  • 2020 GRAND PRIX , Split Videoart Festival (Split, HR)
  • 2019 Second prize, The Engine Room, London (UK)
  • 2018 Found Footage Award, nominee IFFR Rotterdam (NL)
  • 2016 Project Grant, Flemish Community Commission, Brussels (BE)
  • 2016 Project Grant, Fonds Pascal Decroos The Distance Between Us (BE)
  • 2015 Grant, Flanders Audiovisual Fund, VAF (BE)
  • 2011 Project Grant, Pascal Decroos Fund for Investigative Journalism (BE)
  • 2010 Nikon Press Award Stories: Garbage City (BE)
  • 2010 Project Grant, Pascal Decroos Fund for Investigative Journalism (BE)
  • 2009 Project Grant, Pascal Decroos Fund for Investigative Journalism (BE)
  • 2006 Plantin-Moretus Award (BE)
  • 2004 Project Grant, Spes, Belgian Foundation to support creation (BE)
  • 2003 Laureate Internationaler Preis Für Jungen Bildjournalismus (DE)
  • 2001 Project Grant, Pascal Decroos for Special Journalistic Projects (BE)
  • 1998 Laureate BP Young European Artists contest (BE)
  • 1998 Laureate Prix National Photographie Ouverte (BE)
  • 1995 Laureate Internationaler Preis Für Jungen Bildjournalismus (G)
  • 1995 Laureate Prix Kodak & Photographies Magazine (Fr)
  • 1995 Grant Fondation Belge de la Vocation (BE)
  • 1994 Kodak European Panorama Award (Fr)
  • 1994 Nikon-Agfa Portrait Award Benelux (BE)


Argos, Brussels (BE)
FOMU, Museum for Photography Antwerp (BE)
Musée de la Photographie Charleroi (BE)
Hasselblad, Gothenburg (S)
ING Bank, Brussels (BE)
Gands, Antwerp (BE)
Museum Dr. Guislain Gent (BE)


2013 European Parliament, Act React Impact campaign, Agency Ogilvy, Bucharest, Barcelona, Brussels
2012 Architectural Review Flanders, Radical Commonplaces, European Architectures from Flanders. VAI
2008 Traces of Devotion, Processions in Flanders, Documentary Assignment for Kadoc, Louvain
2004 Overwerk(t) in de actieve welvaartstaat, Documentary Assignment for KU Leuven
2001 Dam, The Slaughterhouse, Documentary Assignment for the City of Antwerp
1997 De Bewegende Stad, Documentary Assignment, FOMU, Museum for Photography, Antwerp


  • 2020 Als geluiden beelden worden, De Tijd
  • 2017 The Distance Between Us, Weliswaar
  • 2015 Te propere projecten? Ooggetuige, De Standaard
  • 2015 Growing Pains, Mongolia in crisis, Lensculture
  • 2014 Groeipijngrens, Mongolië, dS Weekblad
  • 2013 Garbage City, dS Weekblad
  • 2013 Garbage City, SamPol
  • 2012 Garbage City, Private Photo Review Magazine
  • 2012 Jezus leeft, dS Weekblad
  • 2012 Devoted, SHOOT Magazine
  • 2012 Voyeur bij God, De Morgen
  • 2012 Ma province hors cliché, Le Vif weekend
  • 2012 Vroeger is een ander land, Psychologies
  • 2012 Architectuurboek Vlaanderen N°10, VAI
  • 2010 Facing Brussels, Moments in a metropolis, BAI & Nadaar
  • 2010 De afvalfamilies van Caïro, Weliswaar
  • 2011 In De Marge, De Morgen Cultuur
  • 2011 In The Margin, Belgian Documentary Photography, Lannoo
  • 2011 Nee Sabo is Mauro niet, Brussel Deze Week
  • 2010 Facing Brussels, Brussel Deze Week
  • 2010 Facing Brussels, Knack
  • 2010 De naakte Mohammed, Weliswaar
  • 2009 Building a fair world, Mali, Catalogus BTC
  • 2009 De nieuwe daklozen van Amerika, De Tijd
  • 2009 De nieuwe daklozen van Amerika, Weliswaar
  • 2008 The Holy Land Experience, De Standaard
  • 2008 Traces of Devotion, Processions in Flanders, published by Kadoc
  • 2008 De hemel in tegenlicht, OKV, Openbaar Kunstbezit Vlaanderen
  • 2007 Act of Faith, Catalogus, Noorderlicht festival
  • 2005 Tussen tent en flat, Mongolië, Brussel Deze Week
  • 2005 Hoe Marx en Lenin om de tuin werden geleid, DS Magazine
  • 2002 De passie en de pijn, Genieten
  • 2001 God in Cuba, Expres
  • 2001 De wereldkampioenen van Blackpool, De Morgen
  • 2001 Lalibela, Ethiopië, FOTO
  • 2001 De Antwerpse slachthuiswijk, De Morgen
  • 2000 Dromen met harde vuisten, Cuba, Expres
  • 2000 Children of our Time, Hasselblad
  • 1999 De bewegende stad, FOTO
  • 1999 Les yeux virils des descendants de Genghis Khan, Le Matin
  • 1999 Greyhound Races in London, De Morgen
  • 1999 IJzerbedevaart, De Morgen
  • 1998 The twilight zone, The Bulletin
  • 1998 De bewegende stad, Kontakt
  • 1998 Het dodenhuis in de bergen, Mongolië, De Morgen
  • 1998 Koffiepauze aan de vooravond, Lissabon, De Morgen
  • 1998 Oceanen van devotie en vodka, Mongolië, De Morgen
  • 1997 De metropool vierkant en bewogen, De Morgen
  • 1996 Le Sinn Féin va aux urnes à reculons, Belfast, Libération
  • 1996 Blackpool, proletariërs in plaats van parasols, De Morgen
  • 1996 Een voetreis naar de hemel, De Morgen
  • 1996 Mariaverering in Vlaanderen en Polen, FOTO
  • 1995 Internationaler Preis Für jungen Bildjournalismus, Catalogus
  • 1995 Dakloos in Brussel, DS Magazine
  • 1995 Laat ons onder uw mantel staan, DS Magazine