“Pointe de Moisie 01”, Olivier Blouin, 2011. © Olivier Blouin.

Maison de l’architecture du Québec: Ils habitaient Moisie… by Olivier Blouin, 2011. Used with permission. © Olivier Blouin.

Pointe de Moisie is located at the mouth of the Moisie River, some 20 km east of the city of Sept-Îles, in the province of Quebec, Canada (see Google Maps). The site used to host a small fishermen village up until 1967, when it was closed due to inundation risks. Even though the site offers no water service nor electricity, people kept on living at Pointe de Moisie, illegally occupying the abandoned area. They build customized sheds or brought trailers, and turned them into their permanent home.

The occupation of Pointe de Moisie lasted 45 years, from 1967 to 2012. It ended when the provincial Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles ordered the improvised village to be dismantled. The sheds were destroyed by their owners, sometimes simply burned to the ground. The site is now a field of ruins (see in French: “Villages abandonnés: Les ruines d’un village clandestin”, Nov. 11, 2013).

In the summer of 2011, photographer Olivier Blouin –who also holds a Master of Architecture degree– traveled to Pointe de Moisie. There, he documented the disparate and evanescent architecture that was still standing in the Nordic landscape. Six of those photographs are currently exposed at the Maison de l’architecture du Québec: Ils habitaient Moisie…. A press release in French is available as well (PDF). One can browse more of Oliver Blouin’s work at his official website.

“Pointe de Moisie”, Olivier Blouin, 2011. © Olivier Blouin. Used with permission.
“Pointe de Moisie”, Olivier Blouin, 2011. © Olivier Blouin. Used with permission.

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