The Occupation seen through the eyes of two young girls from La Louvière


The Daily-Bul & Co archives centre is hosting an exhibition until 15 April 2018 devoted to a new comic album by Flore Balthazar, "Les Louves" (The She-Wolves). The album tells the true story, seen through the eyes of women, of a Belgian family's day-to-day life during World War II. The exhibition includes sketches, research, original comic strips, and archival documents.

In her latest album, Flore Balthazar explores what life was like for Belgian women during the German occupation. Marcelle and Yvette, two young girls from La Louvière (a city 50 km outside of Brussels, halfway between Mons and Charleroi), discover just that as they struggle through the interminable years of the Second World War. Living alongside their brothers and their parents, they grow up, bit by bit, to become women working to preserve their world, "She-Wolves" ready and willing to fight so that they can live and survive on their own terms. The Second World War left soldiers with countless physical wounds that would never fully heal, but away from the battlefield, women did not go unharmed; they underwent serious emotional trauma of their own.

The author depicts their lives in this highly symbolic portrait based on historical facts. Flore Balthazar's plot moves forward delicately, at once tender and realistic. The backdrop is the city of La Louvière, its neighbourhoods, its streets. Sometimes its inhabitants are heroes. At other times, they are scoundrels. Regardless, none come out of the war unscathed.