With an unplanned and unexpected approach Bieke Depoorter’s Ou Menya – With Me series records adventure and intimacy allowing the viewer to experience the transient, yet very powerful, shared moments she experienced whilst travelling on the Trans-Siberian train.
“I am looking for a place to spend the night. Do you know people who would have a bed, or a couch? I don’t need anything in particular, and I have a sleeping-bag. I prefer not to stay in a hotel, because I don’t have a lot of money and because I want to see the way people live in Russia. Could I stay at your place, perhaps? Thank you very much for your help!” - Bieke Depoorter
For three periods of one month, I have let the Trans-Siberian train guide me alongside forgotten villages, from living room to living room. Some Russian words, scribbled on a little piece of paper, allowed me to be welcomed and absorbed in the warm chaos of a family. Accidental encounters led me to the places where I could sleep. The living room, the epicentre of their life, establishes an intimate contact between the Russian inhabitants. In this room, they sleep, eat and drink as well as cry. For a brief moment, I was part of this. Their couch became my bed for one night. This way, I experienced transient, but very powerful, shared moments.