We're excited to announce that our very own board member, artist & researcher An Xiao Mina, will be taking over China Residencies’ Instagram account for the fourth #slowtrain virtual residency. An Xiao will document the two-night journey she took from Shenzhen to Lijiang (via Kunming) on July 20th. She will also record her upcoming slowtrain trip, on August 5th, from Lijiang to Kunming and, on August 6th, to Beijing on a bullet train.


An Xiao is a writer, researcher and artist who looks at issues of the global Internet. She is co-founder of The Civic Beat and was a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. She leads the product team at Meedan, which recently started testing Bridge, a new translation app that people in refugee camps can use to obtain fast and accurate translations.


During her residency, An Xiao will explore the “subjectivity of time based on context, medium, access and privilege” through a series of short, experimental films of 1 minute or less, filmed and edited on iPhone and designed to be watched on Instagram.


In a world of airplanes, I still find myself drawn to terrestrial travel, whether by foot, wheel, track or fin (no hoofs yet, but maybe that will change). There are many reasons to take a slow train--to visit family, to avoid air travel, to save money, to reach somewhere inaccessible by other means--, and there are many experiences of slowness, from the reflective luxury of a private cabin to the misery of a cramped, standing-room-only car. "Slowness" is an entirely subjective experience, and as a train lover, I've taken slow trains under a wide variety of circumstances, sometimes wonderful, sometimes dreadful.

An Xiao’s first post as she starts her travels with a slow tram in Hong Kong

Prototype short film on a #slowtrain from San Francisco to Los Angeles