After two successful editions, Lens op de Mens vzw, in collaboration with CC Palethe and the municipal council of Pelt is organizing the third edition of the biennial photo festival ‘Lens op de Mens’ in the summer of 2021.

For this third edition, we are continuing along the road already travelled. Professional and amateur photographers from all over the world are welcome to present their most beautiful images to the public. The theme of this edition is again the human portrait in the broadest sense of the word.

An international jury of professional photographers will make a selection from all submitted photos. We hope again for a large number of submissions by photographers worldwide. In addition to the numerous guest exhibitions, a total of around 1,000 photos are exhibited both in the open air and in the many indoor locations.


Main theme edition 2021: Man in times of Corona pandemic

At the moment, an epidemic caused by the Covid-19 coronavirus is afflicting the entire world. This has a huge impact on public life, which has largely stalled. But sectors such as health care are forced to go into overdrive. Also the food supply and everything related to it continues to work. The heroes of this crisis deserve our utmost respect. Heartbreaking images of caregivers and their patients, as well as heartwarming images of solidarity and support for all those who want to make our lives as pleasant as possible according to circumstances appear on TV news and on social media. We would like to make our main theme of Lens op de Mens 2021 from these images. Rarely “people” received more attention. The “lens” is more than ever “aimed at people”. All those images of solidarity and compassion, of joy and sorrow, from applause for the caregivers to window visits to retirement homes, from children who have to learn and play differently, from home workers, from empty streets and from all who have to meet our daily needs. We would like to pay special attention to all these images during the next edition of Lens op de Mens in 2021. To guide you in submitting your photos, we’ve put together this TUTORIAL. You will soon read more about the presentation of the images on this website.​ Thanks in advance for your cooperation.


The image for this new edition is from the Slovakian photographer Martin Krystýnek. It is part of his project ‘Faces’. Martin was our Gold Award winner in the 2019 Professional Photographers category. In that year he also obtained the title of MQEP Master Qualified European Photographer from the FEP Federation of European Professional Photographers. In addition, he obtained many important national and international awards. You can admire more of his works at our guest exhibition of the winners of Lens op de Mens 2019 in CC Palethe.


Pelt, 2nd April 2020

Dear photographers from all over the world,

Our second edition of the International Photo Festival ‘Lens op de Mens’ is over. Perhaps you were one of our participants and we would like to thank you very much for that.

The photo festival has attracted thousands of visitors and we received many heartwarming reactions. We will take to heart the tips we received to let the festival grow again in this third edition, the latter is already our dream.

Recently, the Corona virus hit hard worldwide. We want to express our sympathy with all those who have lost a loved one because of this and who have to deal with this grief in difficult circumstances. But we also look forward to next year with many positive expectations. Together we will control the virus. We shall go on!

That is why we once again make a warm appeal to all of you to focus your lens on the people around you and send in your best photos to our festival. No festival is possible without your cooperation.

But we already invite you to answer another call:

QuarantineWallIn these strange times of Corona virus, the lives of all of us have changed dramatically. Igor, one of our volunteers has created a website where you will have the opportunity to express your feelings about the ‘lockdown’ and the ‘compulsory stay in’ in a special way.

Take a picture of yourself or someone close to you in a closet, box, hutch, henhouse or any small space that suggests a sense of being trapped and upload it to this website Together with the rest of the world, we try to build a wall against the virus. Maybe next year your photo will be part of an installation, a photographic work of art at our photo festival in 2021.

In the meantime, we are working hard to establish a non-profit organization for our festival.

We would also like to express our gratitude to the municipal council of Pelt for the great confidence in our organization and the support that was promised to us for the future.

We wish you good luck in creating beautiful images and hope to welcome you back at our next edition of ‘Lens op de Mens / Spotlight on People 2021’.

You can follow us on Facebook and Instagram or on this website.


Carine Van Gerven
Festival coordinator