Miguel Angel Calderon

Madrid

The Stranger

Between August and November of 2017 I traveled through Southeast Asia. Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos welcomed me like one more of the hundreds of thousands of foreigners that visit them every year. Unrecognizable amidst a sea of people, I was invited to get lost.

Upon my arrival, I only found chaos in front of my unadapted eyes. My physical liberation and pleasure of discovery led me to believe that I was immersing myself in that world. But soon I noticed the immense distance that separated my curiosity from the authenticity of my experience. Instead of ignoring it, as many of us have done from this position, I chose to embrace it.

Disguised as a stranger and with a virgin curiosity, I leaned to my solitude, tried to evade my obligation as a tourist and accepted my temporary refuge. Because I always knew that I was passing, that their hugs were finite and my appreciation limited.

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