The opening to the general public happened on Friday September 16, within the presence of Béatrice Sigismeau, Vice-president of the Division, Lise Di Piétro, head of the Archives, Eric Boulogne of the Ti practice affiliation and the numerous companions who contributed to the success of the mission.
” This exhibition is a dive into the railway historical past of Reunion. A narrative that started in 1858 with the primary horse-drawn railway mission, marked by the inauguration in 1882 of the 126 km line linking Saint-Benoît to Saint-Pierre », specifies Béatrice Sigismeau, Vice-president in control of tradition in entrance of the viewers of visitors current for the opening of the exhibition Titrain lontan. It’s certainly a return to the previous that the assorted individuals who contributed to this occasion suggest: Eric Boulogne of the Ti Practice affiliation, eminent specialist within the topic, the artists Lionel Lauret and Laurent Pantaléon in addition to the group of the Departmental Archives .
” Additionally, at the moment, by way of the works of Lionel Lauret and Laurent Pantaléon, and underneath the pen of Eric Boulogne, we invite you to immerse your self within the historical past of this Reunionese epic. “, explains Béatrice Sigismeau. An immersive journey since, due to the ingenuity of the video, the customer boards a wagon, sits on a bench and sees the interval panorama move by on a staging by Lionel Lauret.
” The Ti practice affiliation enabled us to get better the frames of the practice benches from the outdated tunnels of the Grande Chaloupe; reinforcements which were reupholstered by the Défi workshop of the Departmental Council “says Lise Di Piétro, head of the Archives.
A journey additionally in songs with a jukebox and music chosen by Laurent Pantaléon and left to the free selection of lovers of outdated segas. Additionally uncover the restitution of the residence of Laurent Pantaléon, a documentary on the Ti practice enriched with testimonies from former railway staff.
A technical and human feat
An exhibition that’s extra topical than ever, because the Vice-President reminded us, ” This exhibition invitations us to dive into our previous, but additionally to query ourselves about our future. At a time when the problems referring to sustainable and collective journey are on the coronary heart of public insurance policies, this ti practice reminds us that Reunion has been capable of be a precursor of main tasks on these points. We should know the way to attract inspiration from it and have faith in Reunion Island’s inventiveness. »
The work lasted 4 years (1878-1882) for 126 km of line, 41 metallic bridges, 14 masonry bridges, dozens of culverts, aqueducts and trenches. Many staff misplaced their lives there, together with Piedmontese who got here from Italy to work on the development. The work stays a technical feat, specifically with the development of bridges or the drilling of the cliff of the Mountain.
Saint-Benoit/Saint-Pierre in 11h51, a visit that requires virtually the entire day with a cease of a number of hours in Saint-Denis or Saint-Gilles. Fortuitously, all through the journey, vacationers may purchase grilled pistachios, fondants and different milk sorbets within the numerous stations.
For practically a century, the railway has formed the financial, social and cultural historical past of Reunion, that is what guests will be capable of uncover on this fabulous exhibition.
On February 17, 1954, the prefect Pierre Philip declared: “ the troublesome operation of the CRR (Compagnie du Chemin de Fer) and its disastrous monetary penalties lead us to abolish the railway… On March 5, 1976, the inauguration of the coastal street put an finish to Reunion’s rail journey.
“IIt’s a must to penetrate into the stomach of the mountain to admire the valiant staff who pierce, within the darkness, ignored, humble troopers of progress, the tunnel which is able to rival the best works of this type. Piedmontese, Araves of Egypt and Aden, Soumalis, French, Creoles, Malagasy, Cafres, all races are confused in the identical labor, all working with equal ardor for the completion of this grandiose enterprise… »
Excerpt from the newspaper The Monitor of ReunionWednesday, November 26, 1879.
Titrain lontan, Reunion’s railway journeyon the Departmental Archives till June 28, 2024.
Companions: Division of Cultural Affairs (DAC); Regional Stock Service (SRI); the Indian Ocean Historic Sound Library (PHOI); the Nationwide Institute for Preventive Archaeological Analysis (INRAP); the Ti Practice Affiliation.
Ti practice lontan exhibition on the Departmental Archives – till September 2024
The Réunion railway: 100 occasions
Eric Boulogne – Editions Arts Terres Créoles