Meet the founders of Retrace

Portrait équipe - Annabelle et Julie

They met on university benches and haven’t left each other’s side since.

Both with creative minds, they had already imagined teaming up to create a company dedicated to their passion for culture and heritage.  

Ten years later, from their rare friendship, Retrace was born on a summer afternoon. The year was 2020.

Today, their complementary nature is their greatest strength, and promises bright days ahead for Retrace.

Annabelle Oliva

After graduating in BA in Archaeology/History of Art and Ancient Languages and MA in Archaeology/History of Art (Université Libre de Bruxelles, 2012), Annabelle Oliva completed her education with a second Master’s degree in Heritage studies (University of Cambridge, 2016), which led her to explore the ethical aspects associated with the practice of history and its use in the public sphere. She wrote a dissertation on the communication of archaeological knowledge and the principle of uncertainty within cultural institutions and attractions.

From 2010 to 2014, she took part in various archaeological missions to sites in France (ULB), Lebanon (British Museum), India (Deccan College) and Cyprus (École française d’Athènes). In 2014, she worked as a museum specialist at the Corporation de la maison Dumulon (Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec). Between September 2017 and February 2021, she taught History and Latin at the Lycée Prince de Liège in Kinshasa (DRCongo). There she also joined the Texaf-Bilembo team, helping to write books on contemporary Congolese art (edited by Ch. Tombu, published by Weyrich, Belgium).

In 2020, she obtained a Belgian licence as a professional drone pilot. In 2024, she began training as a nature guide with the Cercles des Naturalistes de Belgique, with the aim of acquiring an expertise that brings back together cultural and natural heritage.

In 2020, she imagined Retrace with Julie Waseige.

Julie Waseige

As an art historian (MA, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 2012), Julie Waseige specialises in the study of modern Belgian art and Surrealism. Her final dissertation focused on the photographic image in the work of Marcel Broodthaers.

From 2013 to 2016, she worked as a researcher and scientific assistant at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. Among other activities, she was responsible for the Magritte Museum’s daily management. Since 2017, she has worked as a freelance art historian, authoring several books focusing on Surrealism and Magritte’s works and life. She has also curated several exhibitions, including Magritte. Life Line at MASI Lugano and Amos Rex Helsinki (2018-2019), Inside Magritte, which travelled to Milan, Florence and Seoul (2018-2020), and Magritte. A Lab of Ideas, held at Nordiska akvarellmuseet in Sweden (2022). She was also a historical consultant for the documentary René Magritte. Le maître du mystère (Seven Doc Productions, France, 2023).

In 2019, Julie became a member of the international cultural organisation SALOON. Between May 2019 and June 2020, she took on the role of scientific director of the Marcel Mariën Foundation, contributing in particular to the digitisation and online publication of the artist’s catalogue raisonné. Since September 2023, she has been a cultural columnist for RTBF.

In 2020, she imagined Retrace with Annabelle Oliva.