a word from the Editor
It’s unfortunate that the word “journey” is such a debased term in popular culture, freely reserved for teary-eyed reality TV contestants and a be-your-own Frankenstein mojo that underlines the motivational me-spirituality retailed to us in books, television and song today. It seems everyone is running their mouths over the word ‘journey’ with nary a thought to its larger meaning or worth.
Maybe the media is too kind to us in that regard, making violence in Afghanistan seem as close to us as Paris Hilton’s hand-bag, deluding us we are familiar with the world entire – when really we hardly know it all. As the Australian singer Dave Graney once put it, the truth is this: “You wanna be there, but you don’t wanna travel.”
Given the second (hand) life we often lead, it’s nice to think travel writing and images can still have some vitality, and a deeper affect. The first thing any serious travel writer realizes, of course – and any traveller for that matter – is that you don’t just move through the world, the world also moves through you. It’s that combination of (observed) outer and (felt) inner life that constitutes the real power of great travel literature and indeed the way ‘travel’ as a genre nowadays melds with memoir and journeying tales of all kinds.
To my mind this liberates it as a form to embrace everything from personal stories of struggle and becoming to serious photo reportage, essays, profiles and indeed the old-fashioned story of a place and time evoked vividly and accurately. It seems to me some of the most exciting creative and reportorial work right now is happening under this loose umbrella or journeying mood, this catch-all term that online communication is freeing up and varying even more as a 'form'.
What follows is an aggregation of stories and images related to travel, journey and place. From a cabbie’s obsession with the street art he witnesses and documents to a guided tour of Auschwitz, from first hand reflections on female roller derby action in Sydney to a young woman coping with her mother’s fight against cancer, and Dave Graney’s own voyage into the secret world of hip hop. Family relationships, rock ‘n’ roll, poetry, photo-essays, animation… India, Russia, Columbia… it’s all here pulsing away. Have a scroll through the departure points below and hitch a ride or two. With luck you’ll really get somewhere.
- Mark Mordue