Sleeper

In 2012 I embarked on an overland journey from home in London to India. Travelling by sleeper train, car-pooling with locals where the train lines ended, staying in simple accommodation, I made my way slowly through the landscape. 

In this era of low-cost airlines travel is fast and cheap. We parachute into a place without experiencing the distances travelled or places travelled through. Sleeper is about slowing things down, enjoying the journey and being in no hurry to reach a destination.

There is a secret bond between slowness and memory, between speed and forgetting. A man is walking down the street. At a certain moment, he tries to recall something, but the recollection escapes him. Automatically, he slows down.

Meanwhile, a person who wants to forget a disagreeable incident he has just lived through starts unconsciously to speed up his pace, as if he were trying to distance himself from a thing still too close to him in time.

In existential mathematics that experience takes the form of two basic equations: The degree of slowness is directly proportional to the intensity of memory; the degree of speed is directly proportional to the intensity of forgetting.” 

Milan Kundera, Slowness

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