Patrik Proško

Crossroads

landscape painting, 80 meters, lime

Miwaleni, Moshi, Tanzania

2021

Crossroads

One of the biggest problems in Tanzania, and therefore in Africa as a whole, is the lack of roads. There is one main road connecting big cities and tourist attractions, which is called the highway. But it could be compared more to a class II road according to our scale, on which all the main traffic takes place. Cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, wagons sometimes cows, goats and it is interesting that trucks and buses overtake you the most here. So a two-lane road back and forth suddenly becomes four or more jets. If I don't count the cities, then this road has almost no asphalt branches to the surrounding villages. As soon as you get off it, you are immediately in the offroad, so that I managed to do the chassis of the off-road Toyota RAV4 twice. Living here in the village and commuting to the city for work, for example, is often quite dangerous because there are even meters of holes on the roads, so on a motorcycle, for example, it can cripple you. There is also a lack of lighting in the city, at night it is shrouded in almost darkness and you are strongly dazzled by the lights of oncoming cars, so you can't see the road. And they're all black except me, so when someone walks down the road, you see them at the last minute. And someone still walks on the road here. Related to this is the fact that most accidents happen here at night. . Together with the locals, we painted this intersection with a path to a layer of about five centimeters of dust, for which it was necessary to invent a special painting technique. We first sprinkled water on the marked places for painting, which turned the dust into firmer mud, which could be painted with a little patience. The work lasted two days, and we had to divert passing trucks, cars and redirect herds of cows and goats. The whole immediate area used to go there to look at us, and everyone laughed at what the mzungu is doing here, they wanted to help with something and they showed thumbs up as if it is cool. It took several tens of hectoliters of water, which was also a nut that I had to solve with the choice of location together with the permit to implement such a project somewhere. Fortunately, there was a small river nearby. Because of the project, the whole council of the village of Miwaleni met in the local office, where I had to explain to everyone what I want to do with them. I also introduced them to the previous Canvas project, which I have already shared here and which is right next to this road. This project builds on my older painting of a road with a crossing in the woods from 2013, but here in Africa, its continuation has a new meaning. Along with that place, however, the most important thing for me is that "that" this project was created together with the locals, that they collaborated on it, and that it became a part of them for a few days.

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