From April 15, 2024, discover the exhibition “War and meadows

The reuse of military equipment in the Manche landscape

Taken in the north of the Manche department, this series of 22 photographs illustrates how the inhabitants of the territory appropriated themselves with the remains of the Second World War.

The four years of German occupation, the construction of the Atlantic Wall, as well as the Landing of Allied troops have left their mark on the landscape, despite the 8 decades that have passed. Silent witnesses, these tons of concrete and these pieces of scrap metal are still visible today both on the coast and inland.

Whether boon or constraint, the inhabitants of the region, and in particular the farmers, must deal on a daily basis with this sometimes-imposing heritage. Some choose to bypass it or even destroy it, while others decide to reuse it or make do. Here, the blockhouses are repurposed into maturing cellars, there, the “American fence” and German tetrahedra are reused as fencing elements.

Often considered ugly and shameful, these relics of reinforced concrete and metal are now part of the local heritage. They bear witness to this tragic era, with nearly 4,000 civilian victims in the Manche department and around 30,000 farms affected.

With this heritage disappearing little by little, it is therefore the memory of this dearly paid freedom, which will also rust, crumble and disappear in turn.