One Wild Journey, One Crazy Couple, One Life to Live
As we plan our trip from KABUL to CORK, I am inspired by other amazingly insane people out there. I remember when I was about 10, I first watched a show on cross-country car rallies and thought it looked so exciting. Since then many people have taken to the road using various forms of transportation, including, foot, bicycle, bus, and planes, trains, and automobiles. Here are some of my favourite crazy cats.
In January 2002 Rory Stewart walked across Afghanistan — surviving by his wits, his knowledge of Persian dialects and Muslim customs, and the kindness of strangers. By day he passed through mountains covered in nine feet of snow, hamlets burned and emptied by the Taliban, and communities thriving amid the remains of medieval civilizations. By night he slept on villagers’ floors, shared their meals, and listened to their stories of the recent and ancient past. Along the way Stewart met heroes and rogues, tribal elders and teenage soldiers, Taliban commanders and foreign-aid workers. He was also adopted by an unexpected companion — a retired fighting mastiff he named Babur in honor of Afghanistan’s first Mughal emperor, in whose footsteps the pair was following.
Through these encounters — by turns touching, confounding, surprising, and funny — Stewart makes tangible the forces of tradition, ideology, and allegiance that shape life in the map’s countless places in between.
In the spring of 2011, Combinations hit the road! 5300 miles, 4 friends, 11 countries, and a 1966 VW bus.
In 2008, Aurélien was working in Kabul as a graphic designer for several NGOs, he happened upon a vintage VW bus in a dilapidated garage behind the Kabul airport. Specifically designed in the 1960s for the Afghan market, it came equipped with a serious dust filter and supersonic shock absorbers. With its toy-like design and storied past, the bus inspired the photographer and artist to explore the rough—but enchanting—Afghani terrain with his camera. On April 5th, French filmmaker Diego Ongaro, French photographer Landry Dunand, artist Molly de St Andre and Aurélien himself embarked upon a kaleidoscopic adventure: a 5300-mile pilgrimage across distant and little-understood lands in a bus with a camera obscura photobooth jutting out from the back. Every moment was caught both on both film and on camera.
Franck Abielle set out from Afghanistan to France on a horse. Although the horses didn’t make it all the way, he arrived in France on a bicycle. His site has some amazing photos for anyone interested in the area. I would suggest you contact him if you want to hear the whole story!
We met Adnan and Annika not too long ago at a birthday party. I was completely inspired by their idea to take a Pakistani Rickshaw, all dressed up for the circus, from there to Turkey. Along the way, they are performing, teaching, and raising money. What a great cause! These photos are from their launch this week. Thank you to Adnan for putting me in touch with the CAA representative who will hopefully help us with our KABUL to CORK Carnet de Passage. Have a great trip!!
Rickshaw Circus is a group of Social Circus practitioners and associated supporters, with partner organizations in Germany, Canada and Turkey. The general aim is to support circus arts as a therapeutic tool and to work with children and youth affected by war, natural disasters and other forms of trauma. Rickshaw Circus also aims to raise awareness and funds for projects that are already working in this capacity, specifically the Mobile Mini- Circus for Children in Afghanistan (MMCC). To achieve these goals, the Rickshaw Circus will tour between June and August 2012 with a colorfully painted, motorized rickshaw through Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey and work with children, youth and young adults in schools, orphanages, hospitals and refugee camps. The tour is geared towards raising funds for the MMCC/AECC in Afghanistan, spreading awareness on Social Circus and giving positive media feedback for the countries and people on the traveling route