I remember vividly the disturbing stories Sébastien Van Malleghem told me the last time we spoke, in 2015. He was getting ready to publish Prisons, his long-term photography project about the incarceration system in Belgium, and though his images were just as haunting as his words, there was also an unsettling, cinematographic beauty to them. They were unforgettable. After our hour-long interview, I still wondered how he had managed to make hell on earth look so good.
His distinctive aesthetic is as present as ever in his new book, Nordic Noir, for which he’s currently raising funds. The claustrophobic prison cells have given way to expansive Scandinavian landscapes, yet their beauty is still marked by a sense of foreboding.