We drive along the river for about fifteen kilometers from the city to get there. One road to come and leave. Wedged between the levees of two rivers in a floodable zone, we call this place “Le Bout du Monde” (World’s End), refering to this dead end, isolated and almost insular aspect. The area stretches out for a few kilometers until the river and its affluent merge together and continues its flow to the Atlantic ocean. Crossing the railway bridge to observe the confluence and reach the other side is a family ritual. From there, we stare at the great corridor of water while imagining the ocean in the distance, and by concentrating a little, we could almost feel a slight of iodine note in the air. Unless it is the scent of Loire’s muddy sandbanks. I’ve always felt a kind of fear as I walked there, naively throwing sticks ahead of my feet to make sure the ground was practicable. Many stories have been heard, of people who would have disappeared in a quicksand or a whirlpool.
Several years ago I went to live far from these landscapes in which I grew up and which were the backdrop of my first photographic explorations. Since then, I came here as a ‘visitor’ but the successive lockdowns gave me the opportunity to explore these places again, deeper, let the reminiscences reappear, and rediscover a sense of belonging.
Aurélie Monnier (b. 1986) is a french self-taught photographer living in Ain’s area, near Jura’s mountains. She is currently working in a photographic laboratory after several years as a graphic designer.
With photography, she explores and reflects on our relationship with landscape, territory and the meanings to belong to a land.
© text and pictures by Aurélie Monnier