Nantes - France
The homeless choir
I discovered the homeless choir ” Au clair de la rue ” in Nantes, France, during the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on October 19th 2015.
Around 20 of its members where singing in a street of Nantes in front of passers-by. Songs as “L’auvergnat” by Georges Brassens or “La ballade Nord Irlandaise” by Renaud, were not really sounding in tune but more than the music itself, it’s the unusual look of this choir’s members that appealed to me.
Created in 2007 by Serge aka “The Gaul”, a former fisherman who became homeless and Yannick, a retired engineer, the choir “Au clair de la rue” had for main goal to allow the friends of the homeless people who died in the street to pay a last tribute to them with dignity.
Ten years later, the choir goes on, composed of people with social difficulties – with or without a home – and a solid volunteers network. The deaths are numerous but the mood never turns to tragic and the singing gathers this men and women whose lifepaths are chaotic. As a space of socialization and well-being in a difficult daily life, “au clair de la rue” is certainly one of the most unusual of the french choirs.
Story available on Studio Hans Lucas