The Village of Doel in Belgium, just south of the border with the Netherlands, has been around for centuries. But back in the late 1990’s a decision was made to clear the town to make way for new expansion plans for the port of Antwerp. Because of the new construction, the law states there must be land set aside for nature to offset the newly-built areas (called nature compensation). In this instance the government chose the Village of Doel for expropriation.
As most residents left – many of them unwillingly – squatters came in for a short time. Artists also traveled to this village to use it as a canvas for their work. Many left their mark on the village in the form of graffiti. Some of the abandoned buildings have become a surprise art installation, with imaginatively weird subject matter. (all photographs courtesy of Ari Kennedy).