Vie De Rang:
Dispatches from Northern Quebec

It’s October. Leaves fall, marking the end of autumn. It is while following roads of our region that I discover the inhabitants of Saint-Adelme, a small municipality of Matanie in Gaspésie.

I have a certain fascination for remote places. I sink into the the numbered rows on which the town is laid out, crossing from left to right off the main road. Row 1, Row 2, Row 3 … Here pass only those who live there, perhaps also some hunters and foresters. We are far from the buzz of the city. Walking along the roads, I take the first step and feel called towards a home. I hear the wood crack when I climb on the front stairs of the first house to knock on the door. Someone opens the door, invites me in, and takes this time to share a little of their world.

I was surprised to see how much these people were excited about sharing some of their stories. Surprised to see how much I could so easily get behind these silent walls, and benevolently collect the privacy that was offered to me. A few conversations are exchanged, that is enough for the stranger who speaks to me to become familiar. I am told about family history, childhood memories, isolation, traditions. I scan the room and the objects on the furniture, which only add to the conversation. I play the accordion, the piano, the violin, they offer me fresh eggs, I am asked if I will iron.

This project paints a picture of these inhabitants of the town, on the border between nature and civilization. Objects, landscapes, interiors of home mix and trace the close link that keeps them to their environment, their stories of life, their memories.

This approach is also offered as a way to look at something that all too often fades into banality. A way to revive stories asleep in memories, to walk on the limits of the unknown to make them more familiar.

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Written By
Betty Bogaert

Betty Bogaert

Betty Bogaert is a documentary photographer based between France and Canada.