Castel-Mahoudeau – ‘Deuxième saison’


10/11/2021 - 16/01/2022

Castel-Mahoudeau – ‘Deuxième saison’

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Castel-Mahoudeau – Deuxième saison

‘Deuxième saison’ is a documentary, photographic and sound project, about the possible reopening of a tungsten mine in the village of Salau in Ariège, in the South of France.
The first season of this mining era started in the 1960s, when investors began to take an interest in the mountain overlooking the village and the minerals it contained.

A few years later, when the site was opened, the region enjoyed a good economic and demographic boom, which ended fifteen years later, following the sudden closure of the mine.
French tungsten was no longer sufficiently competitive and the first cases of occupational diseases related to the presence of asbestos in the rock became apparent.
The miners and their families then deserted the village, and the mining company left the site as is, polluted.

In 2015, following the government's desire to relaunch French mineral production, a new mining project was launched. It was met with significant local opposition, notably from the municipal team in the commune of Salau. Today, the legal battle between two visions of the territory leaves the project on hold for the moment.

The issue of reopening highlights a more global conflict at the heart of which are two visions of the territory: between natives and the neo-rurals, between those who are pro-jobs and ecologists. This local conflict echoes several similar struggles in France and elsewhere in the world.

Through their collaboration, Lucas Castel and Mathilde Mahoudeau explore the different aspects of this issue, on the one hand through photographic work focused on nature, greatly impacted by past mining. The landscape is seen as the narrator of a tension between two eras, two seasons.
In addition, the exhibition features ambient sounds collected on-site and interviews with various people involved in the project. The latter explains how the period of the mine's activity made a lasting impression and how the reopening project has now divided them.

The Lucas Castel and Mathilde Mahoudeau duo is the winner of "Propositions d'artistes" 2020, an annual call for projects initiated by Contretype.

Translation: Louise Jablonowska

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