Transnational Dialogues started in 2011, embarking on a fascinating journey from Europe to China, then to Brazil, and eventually back to Europe. The first moves of the journey were with the relaxed but unpredictable pace of a flâneur. Translating flâneur into Chinese required a collective and disproportionate amount of effort, with unexpected findings; the Chinese translation of the word suggests the gentleman stroller of city streets is a “thug” when exercising his investigative power in the hutongs of Beijing.
A curious, and each time larger audience gathered for those first ephemeral discussions. Competences and perspectives were mixed and matched. The leisurely stroll became the relentless procession of a series of Caravans, which for more than two years followed both old and new routes, attempting crossings that had been largely unexplored. The step from China to Brazil was ambitious, but unavoidable. It was pushed by the desire to go beyond the limits of the nation-states that dictate the rules of politics and economics, to gain a more comprehensive vision of this globalised world, and to create and strengthen independent networks of individuals and organisations in these areas.