Free Choice / Conceptual Photography | Nominee

Nathalie Bartrams


Fianarantsoa: The train


The starting point of this project is a railway journey from Fianarantsoa, a city in the highlands of Madagascar. It is a journey of unknown duration and an unknown destination. We travel eastwards, and are supposed to arrive at the coast in the night. Ultimately, after 12 hours on the train, we find ourselves back where we started.

The train is full. I share standing room on the platform at the end of a carriage with five others. A fine, although rather rickety, place from which to enjoy the view on our journey through the highlands and jungle. At small stations, people push their way into the compartments, others wish to get off, Im stuck in the middle. Ducking my head for tunnels and branches, the inside and outside of this journey soon become indistinct.

As a photographer, I capture the outside to reveal whats on the inside. In this project, I have mounted unprocessed images in pairs to create new pictures that illustrate the simultaneity of these states. The perspectives may appear logical at first sight, but the borders between inside and outside dissolve to reveal a new whole.