The Magic Lantern and its Cultural Impact as a Visual Mass Medium in Belgium


Images have served as important means of communication since long before social media, cinema and PowerPoint Presentations. From the 19th century onwards, the ‘laterna magica’, or ‘magic lantern’, acted as a fascinating and instructive tool.

The magic lantern was used to project transparent images from glass slides onto the walls of theatres, schools and people╩╝s homes. Travelling showmen also put on public lantern shows in marketplaces and at fairgrounds.

B-magic will write the as yet unwritten history of the magic lantern as a mass medium and cultural practice in Belgium. In doing so, it will make an essential contribution to both the study of the country’s cultural history and to international media historiography.    

Read more | Dutch summary | French summary

In collaboration with






Kurt Vanhoutte
Spokesperson - Coordinator
University of Antwerp
Stadscampus, D.119
Prinsstraat 13
2000 Antwerp

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