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Concept and editing:
Christophe Collard (Prokopê)
Jos Morree (Fine Books)
Wilco Art Books (NL)
Brasserie de la Senne
If money cannot buy happiness, what drives people to participate in a lottery? And what is the effect of (almost) winning on someone’s life or that of people around them? In Just My Luck, Cécile Hupin and Katherine Longly (BE) set out to compare dream to reality by giving a voice to those who won or came close to winning a jackpot, for better or for worse. Their stories paint a picture of our society, our aspirations, our beliefs, and our relationship with money.
Human beings have always dreamt of the small miracle that could change their lives, and the invention of lottery games turned pure fantasy into a realm of possibility. Intrigued by the consequences that such upheaval can have on someone’s life, Hupin and Longly spent five years interviewing those who have experienced it. Far from the glitz, all accounts seemed inextricably linked to the notions of luck and bad luck. As if to believe in one was to risk activating the other.
We meet Serkan, the newsagent who had to close his shop after a street sweeper won 168 million. We meet Paul, who saw his winnings slip through his fingers because of a technical problem at the draw. We meet Ahmed, who was unfairly accused of forging his winning ticket and served a year in prison. We meet Juliette who, despite winning a million, continued to work behind the bar. And we meet many others.
Halfway between artistic and sociological research, Just My Luck contains only first-hand accounts, in order to emphasise the personal stories behind the catchy headlines that the tabloid press is so fond of.
Katherine and Cécile share a strong taste for investigative work and human encounters. Together, they create hybrid projects that capture, with tenderness and humour, extra-ordinary realities that are fiercely revealing of the world we live in.
Cécile Hupin is a writer, performer and designer, with degrees in theatre from IAD and set design from La Cambre. For her writing, she prefers to work with unexpected encounters and true stories, while transposing these into her own artistic universe. She won the silver medal in literature at the Jeux de la Francophonie 2023 in Kinshasa.
Katherine Longly is a photographer and visual artist based in Brussels, with degrees in photography, communication and anthropology. She is driven by the desire to understand social phenomena, focuses on the human aspect in her projects, and always includes a touch of humour. Her first two books, To tell my real intentions, I only want to eat haze like a hermit (self-published) and Hernie & Plume (published by The Eriskay Connection) are out of print.