I Am a Platform Romantic
Train journeys, 2011 – 2018
Images of train travel are a common thread throughout my archive, because traveling on rails gives me permission to reload the film and start over. To see everything and not pass judgment, to keep riding, putting kilometers behind me, to believe in the beauty and boundlessness of the world. My platform photographs were taken between the years of 2011 and 2018 in Kazakhstan, Romania, Germany, Austria, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Serbia, Greece and China.
At the age of 19, school is over and I sit on the Trans-Siberian Railway and write in my diary:
‘The third day on the train. I have the feeling that concrete thoughts simply pass through my head like the landscape passes the window, without me being able to grasp them. Maybe I was expecting something else. Exoticism at all stations. Crazy acquaintances. But no…the discovery of the ride is the restful state that I would describe as almost linear. When I look out the window, sure, I look at things I’ve never seen before. But as long as there is still this pane of glass window between me and the outside world, things do not reach my innermost being. The nature is actually like one imagines Siberia to be: birch forests, grassy plains. The only cornerstones of the day are eating, drinking tea, going to the bathroom. Longing and thin time. The closest approximation to a longing-free state. Maybe that’s what it is: thin time. I know it from previous travels; that I was usually happiest in the state of riding. Even as a child, I was always a little afraid of arriving.’