• Odile MEYLAN

Olivier Longchamp

Being a professional photographer for almost twenty years, Odile Meylan grew up on a small farm in the "Gros-de-Vaud", an agricultural region in western Switzerland.

From her childhood as a peasant’s daughter, she kept a contrasted heritage. On the one hand, there were these strong memories, the song of swallows in the barn, the scent of apple stacks, and sun on the wheat. But on the other hand, she couldn’t forget the embarrassment, or even the shame, of just being “a poor peasant’s girl”, and going to school with muddy boots and stable smell.

To reclaim and, in some way, reconcile with her identity, and these earthy roots, Odile decided to turn her sensitive lense towards someone who had always been there, like a part of the landscape. A character who had always seemed both obvious and distant, though his farm “La Rustériaz”, only stands a few hundred meters away from “La Côte”, Odile’s family farm. But she had never taken the time, or simply had the opportunity, to spend time with him, to watch him work. So, for one year, she made up for lost time. Over the seasons, which for a peasant are more than just pretexts for changing his wardrobe, she accompanied him, with his cows and cats.

His name is Olivier Longchamp, in his fifties, he is a farmer and a farrier. Every wrinkle in his hands tells about his work. He doesn’t speak much, complains even less, and likes laughing. With his thick accent, he calls a spade a spade, loves his animals, and leads them to the slaughterhouse. As Odile’s father did. As human beings have done for ten thousand years.



Born in Lausanne in 1972, Odile Meylan grew up in the countryside, in a peasant family. She first worked as a primary school teacher. However, she very quickly developed a strong desire to go and see beyond the Alps. She put down her chalks, grabbed her backpack and went around the world. Back in Switzerland, she bought her first reflex camera and took up photography. Self-taught and passionate, she took evening classes, worked as an assistant to various photographers and went to perfect her skills for a few months at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York.

In 2002, Odile was hired by a local daily newspaper 24 Heures. For them, years on, she took thousands of pictures on any subject. At the same time, she was multiplying collaborations, reporting to the four corners of the world for NGOs like Medair and Terre des Hommes.

In 2017, she joined the Manétiz online gallery.