Sébastien Van Malleghem

Sébastien Van Malleghem immediately delimited a singular photographic universe, in which the incisive breaks and contrasts of the image transcode the constant and oppressive state of emergency that animates his photographic gestures. Since 2008, he has delved into elaborating a triptych exploring the judicial system, of which Police (2008-2011) and Prisons (2011-2014) are the first two parts. After a foray into Libya to witness the ruins of Gaddafi’s dictatorship (The Ruins of Power, 2012), Sébastien Van Malleghem focuses back on Europe to take a closer look at the adrift junkies, artists, dissenters, and homeless people that the German capital regurgitates; in 2014, The Last Shelter concludes a reportage initiated by an invitation to join a two-month artistic residence in Berlin (2013). Obsessed and determinate to question the human life incidence, Van Malleghem traveled in March 2016 to photograph Morgues inside the Megalopolis of Mexico City.

Violent, haunted by the prescience night owls possess, on a territory so chartered, every one of his reportages reveals dysfunctions, human and social fractures, marginality and disobedience leading astray, failures. Inhabited by a bitter compassion, he exudes the chaos found in mental universes, the frailty of inner worlds, the human evanescence.

An artistic residence in Norway (Halsnoy Cloister, 2013) ignites a passion with the North. Iceland, then Scandinavia further fuels the flame, revealing a personal confrontation with an endless space, a passionate and brutal encounter.

Awarded the Lucas Dolega and the Nikon Bozar Monography Serie Awards in 2015 for Prisons, Sébastien Van Malleghem leaves his mark in a tradition of photojournalists deeply attached to freedom of speech, to being involved in the field, and to taking an assertive stand. The author’s images have also been widely published, exhibited, and rewarded around the world.

Sébastien is a regular freelance contributor for De Standaard,  TIME and Washington Post

His work has been published on TIMEThe New York Time Lens Blog, Paris Match, De Volkskrant, Le Monde Magazine, Le Monde, La Croix, De Volkskrant, Le Temps, De Standaard,Polka Magazine, De Morgen, etc.

Exhibited in Greece, Canada, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Georgia, Norway, Argentina, Germany, Cambodia.

His first monograph “POLICE” was published in January 2013 by Yellow Now Edition.

His second book  « PRISONS » has been published in September 2015 by André Frère Editions and selected as one of the best photo book of the year 2015 by TIME.

His fourth book « Nordic Noir » is one of the « 10 most captivating photography book of the Year » by Mother Jones (USA)

Awards, grants and distinctions


  • Joop Swart Master Class, World Press Photo Workshop, September, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2016
  • Artist residency, October – November 2013, Air Berlin Alexander Platz, Berlin, Germany 2012.
  • Artist residency, August 2012, Halsnoy Kloster, Norway 2012
  • Personal assistant of Tomas Van Houtryve/VII since January 2011.
  • Alumni Workshop Eddie Adams, Barnstorm XXIII, USA, October 2010
  • Internship, Photonews agency, October 2009 .
  • Photographic degree at the superior art school of image « le 75« , June 2009.
  • Internship with Tomas Van Houtryve, Cuba, October 2008.