Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dougie Wallace: Road Wallah

Here's a movie -or what photographer Dougie Wallace calls- a "photo film" on Kolkata's unorganized (aka chaotic) transport modes. He has chosen to show us the tram drivers, the rickshaw pullers, the yellow taxis, the passengers, the pedestrian and vehicular traffic that criss-crosses this teeming city along with a soundtrack (produced by Rosie Webb) that just pulsates and throbs.

The buses, the most commonly used mode of transport, are run by government agencies and private operators, and as the photo film describes them, are haphazard to say the least. Kolkata is the only Indian city with a tram network, which I've greatly enjoyed when I was there last October. Almost all of Kolkata's taxis I have seen were old Ambassador cars, with little if any modern amenities. Hand-pulled rickshaws are extensively used by the public for short trips.

 Dougie Wallace is London based but grew up in Glasgow. He lived in east London for 15 years but spends a lot of time travelling abroad. I suggest you view his project titled Reflections On Life which features scenes from the daily commute in a number of cities ranging from Lisbon, Egypt and Eastern Europe, including Sarajevo, Ukraine and Albania.

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