From Lausanne to Kabul, a trip to the cathedral

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Under the vaults of Lausanne Cathedral, a succession of panels invites pilgrimage. Are the Easter celebrations behind? This procession leads elsewhere: from Paris to Kabul and from Kabul to Paris. This is the route that the Lausanne author Pierre Conne followed, accompanied by his typographer friend Ernest Imhof, in 1970… in 2 CV. A 17,000 km raid organized by Citroën for some 1,000 participants, including Pierre Conne, who at the time produced a literary story and a photographic series. Unearthed nearly fifty years later by his daughter, Julie Henoch, moreover occasional collaborator at Time, this roadmap leads us in the footsteps of young adventurers.

“The story of this raid has permeated our family mythology, even though I was born much later,” says Julie Henoch. My father passed away in 2008 and, while searching the library last spring, I found him. And I said to myself: it’s really not bad! ”

“False hippies”

Organized as part of the History and City Festival, devoted this year to the theme of travel, the exhibition Make route does not content itself with exploiting the magnificent photographs of Pierre Conne, between arid plains and the faces of children tanned by the Afghan sun. Four researchers from the University of Lausanne (from literary geographer to anthropologist of religions) looked at these memories to weave politico-philosophical reflections: the role of the travelogue, the ideals of post-1968 youth but also the fine line between a quest for elsewhere and neocolonialism …

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Sylvain Venayre: “Tourist travel has no virtue in itself”

“True bourgeois, false hippies”, in the words of Pierre Conne himself, these pilgrims-tourists fled the Western way of life… but were they really freeing themselves from it? Through a visual and sound journey, it is the orientalist clichés and the contradictions of the time that questions Make route – but also our own relationship to travel.

In the spans of the Cathedral, we follow in the footsteps of the two explorers between wonders, engine rumbles and canned ravioli. With, in filigree, the homage of a girl to her father. “Opening up to our family history made it possible to create entry points, to make these analyzes accessible to everyone,” underlines Julie Henoch. A journey that is both intimate and universal.


“Take the road”, free exhibition at Lausanne Cathedral, Mon-Sat 9-7 p.m. and Sun 11-7 p.m., until April 15. Find all the articles in the “One day, one idea” section.

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