Development – a journey to Golmud

(work in progress)

This work has a precise starting point : the 11-hour train journey on the recently completed rail track linking Lassa, in Central Tibet, to Golmud, on the northern fringe of the plateau. While slides of a barren landscape rush silently past the windows, Han, Hui and Tibetans passengers of the second class carriage interact with each other. From this journey emerge a text and some first images, later completed by more made on the same line several years later.

This journey between the centre and the border – both on the march of the country – along with the interaction of ethnically different people, is a part in a bigger play that keeps being reenacted between settlers and natives of a given borderland. Civilisation brought to a new land, Development under way. The knowledge of a past doesn’t intervene in the on-going iteration of the play.

The landscape, seen as alien and hostile, is here being watched from the safety of an oxygenated train. The images don’t try to hide the speed blur, nor the reflections in the windows, that separate the inside of the carriage with an outside located 5000m above sea level. Passengers are photographed on the spot, framing is direct, and intrusion of the photographer into the scene is kept to a minimum.

The final form of this work is not yet defined.

Development – in progress | 2013 | Projects