While travelling through South-East Asia,I was really moved when I came across these men, women, children, old people, workers or wanderers asleep in the heart of the towns and villages whatever the time of day or night.

These bodies lying still, regardless of the of the hustle and bustle of the crowded towns around them offer themselves to the stares of the passers-by, shamelessly and fearlessly.

I have been struck by how these bodies in shrouded sleep -lying on the ground, the edge of a temple, the pavement, their workplace, the bus- let themselves go.

It seemed to to me that a part of their intimacy had vanished, been abolished...

As I was looking at these mortal coils, a phrase by James George Frazer came to my mind :  « never wake up a sleeper, for their soul is away and will not  have the time to crawl back in »

To convey this feeling of presence and absence, I needed to approach them and steal their sleep to attempt to catch their soul.... It was a long-winded process for I had to break through my reserve to penetrate their privacy, their intimacy running the risk of disturbing their sleep.

It took time for this persistent feeling of guilt inside of me to go.

©2010 olivier Rovere