Journeying on a stationary train is a participatory photography project, thought initially as a blog and in a second time, as a multidisciplinary performance and an illustrated book. A series of images taken in India are followed by short stories written by writers who have never been in the country before. The project takes inspiration from Italian 19th century exotic tales writer Emilio Salgari, whose knowledge of India was purely based on the information he collected at the Turin library, reading foreign newspapers, encyclopedias and travel magazines. In the same way, Journeying on a stationary train intends to involve people who have never been in India and who agree to embark on an imaginative journey to the country. The short stories are juxtaposed with real ‘trip notes’, photographic and written, which create a sort of contrasting dialogue with the writers’ imaginative journey. Through the combination of words and images, the project intends to explore the concept of the ‘exotic’, mapped out by a variety of intimate visions and personal approaches to what is unknown and faraway. The intention of this project is to highlight the beauty and the evocative power of places of ancient dignity, while resuming the XIXth century travel and adventure books’ dimension, characterized by a deep sense of discovery and exploration.
Journeying on a stationary train is open to any western writers, who, coherently with the project, have never been in India and would agree to write a short story (maximum 5000 keystrokes) based on one of the photos chosen from the blog. The best short stories will be published online and featured in performances and events, aimed to publicize the project both in Italy and in the UK. The stories, together with a short biography and a written authorization to use the above material within these contexts, can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org