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Meet the Brussels expat: Sebastian Boatca from Romania on his love of photography
Before arriving in Belgium, I studied in Romania and Switzerland; I also worked and lived for a short period in Norway, then moved back to Romania. Brussels has been my city since 2015, when my wife obtained a work contract. Adapting to a new country, city and culture can be demanding, but it is always easier for those who love to travel, those who have already lived in different cities and countries and who embrace the changes for a better, more interesting and challenging life.
I work in the secretariat of a unit of one of the directorates of the European Commission. I especially like working with colleagues of so many nationalities – the multicultural work environment has always been captivating to me. And I’m a passionate photographer, continuously looking for inspiration. I love to travel; travel photography is one of the most solid parts of my portfolio. Travelling, apart from enriching your life, also helps to make the world a bit smaller, easier to understand. Before moving to Belgium, I contacted Viewfinders photography club in Brussels and joined as soon as I arrived here. My passion and involvement in the club saw me become an associate committee member, then vice-president, with an active role in organising the club’s activities: writing for the monthly newsletter, making public presentations, preparing workshops, exhibitions and much more.
Since coming to Belgium, I’m proud to have had two solo photography exhibitions, to have participated in a Viewfinders group exhibition and in two group exhibitions with colleagues. I’m already thinking about two future exhibitions on projects I started while visiting Japan. Time is always insufficient, with a full-time job and being a husband and a father, but if there is a will…
There are always captivating things to discover here. Not only from a photographic point of view, but when the weather is fine, almost every weekend is an opportunity for my family to enjoy the recreational activities. Wallonia is very beautiful and every time we have the opportunity, we leave Brussels to enjoy a nice weekend as a family, changing from residents into tourists. Villers Abbey is one of our favourite places to visit. I have made several series of photographs there and with Viewfinders I visited a moving photography exhibition, outside among the ruins. The High Fens boardwalk is a very quiet, calm place. We sometimes stop here while going from Eupen (which is a nice city) to Aachen. And Liège has a certain unique flavour, something we always sense and, I might say, truly specific to this town. I’ve had the best French fries in Liège; the waffle has another significance when savoured there.
And let’s not forget that by car, in less than two hours, we can visit beautiful places in France, Germany, Luxembourg or the Netherlands. Each time such an opportunity arises, it means more material in my portfolio, not to mention more beautiful memories with my family.
This article first appeared in WAB (Wallonia and Brussels) magazine