Baden: Kodoji Press, 2012.
With Wondelgemse Meersen photographer Stephanie Kiwitt documents in countless pictures a wasteland, that usually goes unnoticed, but is found in almost every post-industrialized city. Wondelgemse Meersen, meaning the marshes of Wondelgem, are part of the Belgian city of Ghent, about 100 hectares in size, situated next to industrial, residential and commercial zones. The fallow land has become overgrown, there had once been allotment gardens, also Romanies had settled down here for a while.Finding all sorts of traces, but no apparent links to their causes, gives the bosky area an apocalyptic atmosphere: old Coke-bottles in the mud, a destroyed computer, all kinds of garbage, a purple tape recorder from a kid, carbonated wood from an accommodation, but nature is striking back, grass grows over the trash, a tree tries to burst a fence.Kiwitt visited this place left to its own during a period of one and a half year. Presenting sequences of the images chronologically, layouted as index prints with their file names as captions, Wondelgemse Meersen seems to have an archival character. Yet the stream of pictures is paradoxical: By focussing meticulously on details, Kiwitt does not really document the area. With this publication she sketches an imaginary place and in doing so, she touches the limits of the documentary. Despite the quantity of photographs, the area remains unknown and inaccessible. Kiwitt's images reveal much more the process of photographing itself than the reality of the marshes of Wondelgem. Item #13514