India is on the move and everything is in motion. The country is developing rapidly. Multi-lane roads eat their way through the landscape connecting megacity to megacity. Building complexes and pop up communities spring up at seemingly impossible speeds into the empty spaces along these new passageways. Strange places develop – inhospitable and unreal, in between yesterday and tomorrow; places which although not actually created for people, are yet home to thousands who live on, along and with the road.
At first glance, the long, lonely highways seem void of life. However, minute signs along the road shoulders subtly suggest the contrary: a few pieces of laundry hung on a utility pole, a water tank at a concrete road barrier, flashes of those colorful ornaments used to decorate the vehicles passing to and fro.
Taking to the road myself, I discovered the residents in the heart of this world dominated by massive, moving monsters and painted yellow lines. I found people eating, sleeping, talking and living a life on the move and also those who emerged from the verges to service needs for food, drink, repairs or simply a break from the stress and endless hours on the road. I found it interesting to dive into this ecosystem of the lorry driver and meet those who help to make the Indian dream of development come true. I liked the graphic clean lines of the big vehicles combined with the homely signs of life in them. And in the weeks of being on the road close to the drivers I learned to admire them and those who support them, for the carefully designed system for achieving maximum distance over time and for their effectiveness at creating a home away from home to survive it.
– Peter Kabel
Peter’s Show NH8 – Road Kings opens 14 August at the Old Distillery