Tracks: moving glances

By Sergio Luiz Silva

“Waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting for the train, (…) waiting for the day when you wait for no-one, waiting for the end and nothing else beyond”.

Chico Buarque

Those who spend much of their lives moving through Rio de Janeiro on trains experience and share an almost universal solitary wait – part of the frantic lives of the many who are always “waiting for the train”, as echoed in the lyrics of the song by Chico Buarque, used here as an epigraph.

More than urban mobility traced on parallel lines, the comings and goings on the rails are a part of our culture. This cultural identity includes lunch boxes, cookies, ice poles, popsicles, chocolate, candy, mobile phones that double as TVs and which now replace portable radios, and pretty much anything else that can be sold or consumed. In the cars, that are almost always full, we can witness lives and existential experiences, waitings and friendships created during the long rides of people who wake up very, very early, and who do not make it back before night falls, after a seemingly never-ending day of work. These people are going home at all hours, on the same lines that took them away in the morning, and tiredly getting off the trains to close their cycles of comings and goings on the rails.

The exhibition “Tracks: moving glances” is the product of a photographic experience lived in 2011 and 2012, while I travelled on the railways in suburbs of the Wonderful City. These railways connect Central do Brasil station to the magical universe of the peripheral neighborhoods, from Madureira to Deodoro, from Caxias to Santa Cruz, from Campo Grande to Jacarezinho, and to so many other places where, as Chico Buarque put it, we only see the Christ Redeemer from His back.

Sérgio Luiz Silva

Rio de janeiro, July 2013.

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Sergio Luiz Silva is a photographer and sociologist. He is also a professor at the Post-Graduation Program on Social Memory (PPGMS) and at the Department of Social Science of Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro – UNIRO.