Photos by Jelena Jureša

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Gestures

In the spring of 2021, we invited visual artist Jelena Jureša for a citybooks residency in Bruges. She created an intriguing city portrait in 24 photos, loosely connecting past and present to tell a new story. ‘I used to feel claustrophobic in Bruges. Not because of the city’s narrow streets or stage-like facades. The feeling of discomfort was usually caused by a steady stampede of white American tourists. Clutching their cameras and phones, they consider the city of Bruges a perfect backdrop for the photographic trophies they like to take back home. During the pandemic, however, the city seemed an abandoned set.’ Jelena set out with her camera and discovered a daily dose of drama, aches and pains in its interiors. She found herself glued to the hand gestures painted by the Flemish Primitives, staring at them obsessively.