brussels en route

Just for once: an advertisement, for free

(version française sur

Brussels – and not Ronse – is the one and only true cosmopolitan city in Belgium. There are many ways to experience this fact. One of them is criss-crossing the city by public transport – and this for a considerable amount of time. That’s what photographer Bram Penninckx did. During a year and a half he travelled with every bus, tram, and metro line at least once, from terminal to terminal. These rides provided him the material for the pictures and the stories on Brussels en route.


A group of women gets on the bus. "So, Fatima, what did Santa Claus bring you?"  "Gingerbread biscuits, mandarin oranges, some chocolate figures, and of course toys," the woman with the veil answers. "We don't want Santa become too generous, because it will be Christmas soon and then the kids will get even more presents." "That's true, we don't want to spoil them too much!" another lady agrees. Another woman from the same group takes a bag out of her purse. "Does anyone want some ginger bread?"

People sometimes reduce the realities of this urban collection of 19 municipalities to a black and white story. The many shades of light and dark grey nuances are flattened into an easily understandable narrative with an attention-seeking title. In Brussels en route, there’s time and space for all shades of grey. This cross-section of the city gives the reader insight in the weal and woe of this colourful and fickle city.

You can view Bram Penninckx’ Brussels en route through an exhibition, in the photobook, and on the ingenious and beautiful trilingual website Brussels en route.

Here a few pictures (in an adjusted format for this website):