A woman hunched over a wood stove
Photos by Raphaël Pellet

The 'Hermits' Who Live Like It's the 18th Century

Photographer Raphael Pellet spent a year with a community who live completely off-grid.
November 11, 2019, 1:42pm

This article originally appeared on VICE France

High in the mountainous region of Ardèche, southern France, small communities still live as their ancestors did – untouched by technological progress and blissfully unaware of the never-ending nightmare of our political cycle. Some see them as hermits, spending their secluded lives like they're in a bygone era, while others are inspired by their simple, opulence-free way of doing things.


For his latest photo series, photographer Raphaël Pellet spent time with two families who live off-grid in the Alps, to better understand their daily lives and explore their homes: old stonewall buildings with wooden stoves, gas cookers and no central heating. There, Pellet met Raymond and his sister Michèle; Philippe, who lives in a cabin with no electricity besides a generator, and his sisters Régine and Ginette.

From time to time the family heads to one of the two closest towns, both 45 minutes away, to stock up on food and supplies. "That's a good opportunity for Raymond to place some bets, buy a few scratch cards and drink a glass of wine," explains Pellet. Then, it's time to get back up to the mountains, take care of the dogs, work on their small plot of land and watch another day go by.

Scroll down to see more photos from the series.