LALOVED

Melbourne

LALOVED
Melbourne

"For several months I hadn’t been away from Paris for a long trip overseas and I didn’t have any photography project, or any photo exhibition planned. March and April seemed perfect to escape from the Paris winter and see my old Aussie mates, as I hadn’t seen them for over six years. I loved the year I had spent in Australia, but I never imagined to return for a photography project and even less doing a photo shoot abroad. I met Pierce aks “The Train Master”, a friend of my mates Tane and Nick, and bingo the trip from Melbourne to Alice Springs jumping from freight train to freight train was on! Sometimes the freight trains didn’t stop for 6, 8 or even 20 hours! It was an incredible and unique experience full of “hobo-like” anecdotes straight out of the 30’s. It was dangerous, dirty and illegal, but the countryside we passed through was breath taking with the railway tracks going off endlessly into an empty nowhere! No roads, no houses, nobody for miles and miles around, just incredible light and smells accompanied by the sound of the train wheals on the metal tracks. The temperatures went from 40°C during the day to close to 0°C at night. One had to travel with a backpack full of food, water, clothes and even toilet paper, as during the whole trop we didn’t cross a single person and that isolation generated a sense of total liberty. It was hard and tiring with lots of waiting around searching for the next freight train heading in our direction and this meant sleeping in the street, or in the “jungle”, a local term used for the abandoned areas around the freight yards. One had to be always ready any time during the day or night to jump on the next freight train, and when it finally arrived you had to run as hard as you could jumping on it hoping that nobodysaw you. Once aboard the next leg of the incredible journey could begin..."  By Paul Langsley