Bartabas' Caravan

“Symbolically, our look is the one of the caravan.

To live in a caravan, is to live on a human scale.

It is our life standard, the way that others measure their success in gold standard.”


“A caravan is a cocoon which protects from malfunctions of all kinds (money, time, weather) but a cocoon that is frail enough to remind us that we remain at the mercy of the aforementioned malfunctions.

It is a way to keep our wheels on earth, in contact with nature, with the seasons that seep in, summer and winter alike. It is our will to live with the warmth, the cold, the rain, the noise.

It is also a way to assert our identity. In Aubervilliers or on the road, we are recognizable.

It is not a matter of offering the show of a “Bohemian life”, or any other pouncing cliché, it is a matter of living ” in human scale”. I was able to experience a close feeling in a very different context of tour, in Japan, where everything is designed so that the living space is reachable by hand, where everything has its purpose, in a kind of minimalist esthetics.

That’s what living with horses is about, living on Earth without losing sight of it, it’s simply about adapting yourself to nature, to the immediate environment it offers, it’s about refusing to ignore it by not living in ascepticised, air-conditioned bubbles with a constant temperature.

If living in a caravan all year long is doubtlessly uncomfortable for the greater part, it gives me a pace that’s in agreement with life. A certain discomfort is necessary as well, in order to live and in order to create as well. The body needs it. It needs to get cold and to get hot. Or, if it isn’t discomfort, at least a different kind of well-being, more physically in sync with nature.

The quest for comfort is really just a slow and insidious break-up, seemingly painless, with nature.

The caravan is, above all, a natural extension of the one who lives in it. The paradox is there: no one is less of a traveler than someone living in a caravan. Anywhere else, with just my suitcase, I feel lost. I need to take my world with me. Whether I settle in Aubervilliers, in Rome or in front of the Palace of Versailles, only the garden changes, when I open the door.”

Bartabas, in Manifeste pour la vie d’artiste, Editions Autrement, 2012



The caravan of Bartabas is an “Assumption”.

After World War II, the Rennes Assumption car designer made caravans of a new, very luxurious style for wealthy, nomadic people. These caravans were worth the price of a nice house. All directors of major circuses of the time had theirs custom made.



The International Harvester Loadstar is a series of medium and heavy trucks that were built by International Harvester from 1962 to 1979.

The Loadstar was mainly used for local deliveries, construction work and agricultural activities, as well as utilities and firefighters.