Conference-debate (in French) with guests,
Laurence Druez, Xavier Rousseaux and Police Commissioner Pierre Simon
A discussion led by Alain Colignon
On 1 April 2019, a major part of the photographic collection of the Liège Judicial Police Laboratory was transferred to the State Archives in Liège. Running since 1923 and covering the territory of the Liège Court of Appeal, this exceptional collection includes over 100,000 shots and handwritten directories updated by the laboratory in the course of its work.
These include portraits of suspects or victims of violent death, photos of judicial agents or magistrates, crime scenes showing domestic, public or industrial interiors and urban and rural landscapes, as well as re-enactment photos. Other subjects include exhibits, stolen or misused objects, weapons, clothing, sketches, etc.
The collection also includes photographic essays depicting the laboratory and its offices over the years, with their equipment and everyday objects: a true immersion in the atmosphere of a profession and an era.
The occupation of Belgium from May 1940 onwards is documented by photographs of bombed or burned buildings, portraits of Belgian collaborators, shots illustrating various forms of criminality, views of casemates and military installations for assembling the V1s...
To give an overview of this collection and produce the book Scènes de crimes. La photographie policière, témoin de l'enquête judiciaire, fifteen contributors were all involved. Specialists in a wide range of disciplines - the history of justice, of course, but also social history, the history of urban planning, the history of art and photography, World War II and forensic medicine - they each bring their own particular perspective to this collection, which is of interest far beyond the world of crime.
On Wednesday, 20 December 2023, CegeSoma and the non-profit organization "Les Amis du CegeSoma" will be pleased to welcome Laurence Druez, Xavier Rousseaux and Police Superintendent Pierre Simon, who will be interviewed by Alain Colignon.
The book ‘Scènes de Crimes. La photographie policière, témoin de l'enquête judiciaire’ is published by Éditions Racine, edited by Laurence Druez and Xavier Rousseaux. In it, Police Commissioner Pierre Simon takes a very lively look at the work of his predecessors, while Alain Colignon writes about the climate in August 1943.
You are all welcome to discover this extremely interesting collection, which provides a wealth of new sources for the study of judicial history, the evolution of crime, as well as police work and investigators' methods of inquiry.
- Laurence Druez has a doctorate in history from ULiège. Head of the Liège State Archives, she is in charge of the Liège Technical and Scientific Police photographic collection.
- Xavier Rousseaux holds a doctorate in history and sociology from UCLouvain. He is Honorary Research Director at the FRS-FNRS and Visiting Professor at UCLouvain, where he heads the Centre d'Histoire du Droit et de la Justice. He specializes in the history of crime and justice.
- Pierre Simon is First Commissioner of Judicial Police, Head of the Technical and Scientific Police Department of the Liège Federal Judicial Police.
- Alain Colignon is a historian at ULiège. Librarian at CegeSoma/State Archives, he is also scientific advisor to the Musée de la Vie wallonne.