In the beginning of my research into Genk I was in all honesty, frustrated that I could not make sense of it. In conversation with locals it was said that the city was going through an identity crisis. I struggled to find signs of cultures merging, why was there barely any graffiti or sign of history in the architecture?
During my initial investigation I became aware of how footwear could serve me as a starting point to make connections between pre and post mining society. In the mining years of Genk, shoes were black or a dark brown, durable and taken care of by polishing them regularly. They had to be sturdy enough to protect from any falling object and the black colour gave no indication of wear and tear.