In 2012, the BPS22 set up an urban art biennial festival called Asphalt. This very first biennial participated in the Inside Out programme designed by the artist JR and mobilised over 200 citizens of Charleroi.
JR (born in Paris, France, in 1983) is famous for his large scale photographs posted in urban spaces. An ambassador for artistic activity created and intended for all, he launched Inside Out in 2011. It was a call for the creation of artistic projects inspired by his methods. JR returned to the traditional notion of photography; he was no longer a photographer who looked to his contemporaries, he was an artist handing citizens the means of taking their image and displaying it.
Bearing the project title Smile!, the Charleroi project aimed to counteract the persistent negative representation of the city. Charleroi's citizens shared and affirmed their enthusiasm by offering their smiling faces to the city, displayed on immense prints across the centre during the We Must Act protest.
Coordinator: Nancy Casielles