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Be-Part : Nick Hannes : New Capital


Be-Part presents the New Capital exhibition by Belgian photographer Nick Hannes (born in 1974 in Antwerp). In his work, which won a World Press Photo Award in 2023, Hannes highlights newly created capitals.

For ecological, demographic or strategic reasons, several countries have recently decided to have a brand new capital. Hannes visited six countries – Egypt, Korea, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Indonesia and Brazil – that have recently built or are in the process of building a new capital.

Each of these capitals is a typical example of what Rem Koolhaas calls the Generic City: a planned city, without historical stratification, without local identity and without its own character. Like a visual sociologist with a keen eye for detail, Hannes seeks the human dimension in a setting marked by spectacular architecture and pompous prestige projects.

The photos bear witness to the standardizing effect of globalization and show us that the contemporary city is increasingly a simulation city, stripped of its local character and identity.

The New Capital exhibition is a critical reflection on unbridled neoliberal urban development and its social and ecological consequences, but it is also imbued with subtle humor and full of surprising coincidences. Oscillating between pride and sadness, New Capital reveals that utopia and dystopia can be surprisingly close to each other.


Nick Hannes (born 1974 in Antwerp) studied photography at KASK in Ghent. With a blend of subtle humor, irony and visual metaphors, he focuses on major social themes such as migration, urbanization and globalization. Nick has published several photo books, including on the former Soviet Union (‘Red Journey’, 2009), the Mediterranean Sea (‘Mediterranean. The Continuity of Man’, 2014) and Dubai (‘Garden of Delight’, 2018).

He has had individual exhibitions, among others at the FotoMuseum in Antwerp and the De Garage cultural center in Mechelen, and has participated in numerous international photography festivals. He received the Zeiss Photography Award in 2017, the Magnum Photography Award in 2018 and a World Press Photo Award in 2023. Since 2008 he has been teaching documentary photography at KASK.


Nick Hannes : New Capital
March 16 – May 18, 2024
Be-Part Waregem
Gemeenteplein 12
8790 Waregem

The exhibition goes hand in hand with the homonymous work published by Lannoo (bound, 208 pages, 28 x 23 cm, Éditions Lannoo, 45 euros).

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