The Brown Camp

History: The Slaughterhouse Camp:

It was between Boulouparis and La Foa that the Prison Administration opened, in 1887, this disciplinary camp with a sinister reputation and reserved for fourth-class prisoners.
There are grouped the most rebellious convicts, resistant to work as well as to discipline. They are nicknamed the “incorrigible” or the “incos” in prison slang.

The living conditions there are appalling: more than 10 hours of work per day on road construction sites. The violence committed by the overseers and the Indigenous Police is such that Camp Brun becomes the “Slaughterhouse Camp”, feared even by the most hardened who have only one idea in mind: to get out of this hell by all means.

Some do not hesitate to cause infections; others choose to deliberately mutilate themselves by gouging their eyes, chewing a foot, or cutting their limb. Faced with the magnitude of these practices, the prison administration created, by an order in 1893, a “section of the mutilated” within Camp Brun itself.

The 10 hours of forced labor remain mandatory but, according to the decree, this work will be chosen according to the strength and mutilation of each condemned person.

In 1894, the Penitentiary planned to transfer the disciplinary camp to Téremba Island in order to build a dike connecting the latter to the land. But this project did not see the light of day. The final closure of Camp Brun took place in 1895, by decision of Governor Feillet.

Camp Brun restoration project:

The Marguerite Association, whose objective is the preservation of heritage, wanted to promote the historic site of Camp Brun by involving the country's youth. The Camp Brun site, acquired and classified as a Historic Monument by the Southern Province in 2007, extends over 3 hectares. There are numerous remains that are now drowned in vegetation:

In 2023, The Marguerite Association has begun work to rehabilitate the historic site of Camp Brun. The first stage of this long and tedious work consisted in removing all the remains from the vegetation and creating a walking circuit decorated with explanatory panels.

These first efforts to promote Camp Brun were carried out by young people involved in the Civic Service and supervised by the staff of the Marguerite association. They made it possible to offer these young people a civic commitment in the service of Caledonian architectural heritage. Other young people will also be able to intervene within the framework of schemes such as integration projects or the RSMA.

In a second phase, a complete survey of the remains will be carried out before the first consolidation projects can be considered. This work will be carried out by archaeologists, architects and companies specializing in the restoration of historic buildings.

Ultimately, the Camp Brun site will be able to fully meet the criteria for the application for the classification of the Caledonian prison as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

crédit vidéo : Bruno Capy

Guided tours of Camp Brun and practical information:

The Marguerite Association Since 2024, has been offering guided tours of the historic site of Camp Brun two weekends a month. Accompanied by an experienced guide, discover the history of the New Caledonian prison and its heritage.

These guided tours take place only by reservation by phone at +687 44 32 71

Retrouvez les dates des prochaines visites guidées du Camp Brun à la page d’accueil, à la rubrique “actualité”.
Ou sur les réseaux sociaux :

Le site historique du Camp Brun est situé sur la commune de Boulouparis, à 13 km du centre du village de Boulouparis et à une distance équivalente du village de La Foa.
Le Camp Brun est un site privé, accessible au public uniquement pendant les visites guidées organisées par l’Association Marguerite.

Pour plus de renseignements, veuillez nous contacter au +687 44 32 71