Saturday, January 28, 2006

Highway Star - the aftermath

For the last 7 months I’ve been building a photo set on Flickr, appropriately named “Crashed Cars of Kuwait”. As a demonstration of the perils of driving in Kuwait, this set speaks for itself. Suffice it to say, for the first time in my life, I’m spending my own hard-earned cash on death/dismemberment insurance coverage.

As with most projects that are essentially open-ended and providing a constant influx of new material, Crashed Cars of Kuwait has been getting too big of late. I’ve therefore closed it off and renamed it Crashed Cars of Kuwait 2005. And in one of those flashes of inventive genius that distinguishes true creative talent, I’ve named the new set “Crashed Cars of Kuwait 2006".

A combination of my work schedule and the short winter days has led to most of the 2006 set thus far being taken at night, but I’m still getting some pretty good images. Certainly there’s no letup in the appearance of suitable subjects for it.

Looking at the number of wrecked vehicles I’ve shot in just 7 months, you may be tempted to imagine I’m some kind of obsessive, scouring Kuwait City to catch every single crash. That would be wrong (well, perhaps except for the obsessive bit) – the great majority of those crashes I’ve shot just on my route to work or in my immediate neighbourhood. Add to that the fact that I don’t shoot the many ordinary fender-benders I come across, and the fact that many crash sites are cleared up well before I see them. There have been three collisions within a hundred meters of my apt block in the last year, and I didn’t photograph any of them – either the damage wasn’t severe, or the sites were cleared before I got round to it. Often the only thing I see of recent crashes on the way to work is a new section of bent crash barrier, a new scattering of broken car parts, or a new set of serious-looking skid marks. So bear in mind, I’m only getting a minority of the potential collisions on just the roads I’m regularly driving, and you get an idea of the situation.