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Are you interested in photography and storytelling? From March 19th to May 8th, the PHOTO-LIT exhibition is the place to be! 


Come join us Monday through Friday, from 10h to 17h, and Saturday from 11h to 16h, at the KU Leuven University Library, and take a look into the past, through a collection of carefully curated photonovels.


Follow the Facebook Live Opening on March 18th at 19:00 for a sneak peek of the exhibition and a talk with Jan Baetens, Clarissa Colangelo and the co-organizing students. 

The exhibition is the closing event of the four-year-long Photo-Lit project. It revolves around the Belgian photonovel, showcasing the results of our research and disclosing the immense corpus of photonovels that have been published in Belgium from the 1950s. Where were these photonovels published? When? Who created them? How were they made? Who were the readers of photonovels? The exhibition tackles these and more questions, bringing visitors back in time to the beginnings of the photonovel, recounting its origins and evolution, uncovering its most famous and prolific creators in Belgium, and diving into its making of with storyboards and behind-the-scenes photos. Past and present are linked together through a photonovel reenactment especially created for the exhibition that uses modern technologies, defies the difficulties posed by the pandemic, and remixes and modernizes themes and poses of the past.

The collection showcased is partly physical, consisting of magazines, photonovels, photographs and preparatory material that has never before been exhibited; partly digitized, with the aim of acquainting visitors with the masterfully digitized collection of photonovels resulting from the efforts of the KBR within the project.


The exhibition is curated by Clarissa Colangelo under supervision of project coordinator Jan Baetens. It is organized in collaboration with a group of students following the MA Cultural Studies at the KU Leuven, and the University Library of Leuven. Divided in groups, the students took care of scenography (Elise Peeters, Felien Vandermotten, Stephanie Silva Chaparro, Xinyi Jiang, and Xiuyi Huang), policy and publicity (Iza Moreno Reyes, Lisa Alexandra Albornoz Muñoz, and Liujun Shang), and reenactment (Jenske Verhamme, Jiaqui Li, and Lia Herbots).

Facebook event:

Closing days:


Easter Monday (April 5th 2021)

Labor Day (May 1st 2021)

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Did you miss our Facebook Live Opening of the exhibition?

Check out the full video of the event!

Project partners: KU Leuven, KBR, ULiège. The project is funded by Belspo under the BRAIN-be framework. Check the 'Project' page to read more about it.

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