Colombia: Documenting the trucker's life on the road

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What is life like when you are constantly on the road? Blogger Francisco Cárdenas, best known for his blog Cine al Oído, has set out to experience that and share it with us online on 8ruedas. He will climb aboard Juan Camilo's truck with a photographer friend to explore the Colombian roads and find out the secrets, stories and adventures truck driver's hold to share online in real time through streaming video, twitter updates and pictures uploads.

Toda la vida, todos los días, hay experiencias que quisieramos asumir como propias. Esta es una de esas. Salir en un camión, agarrar carretera y echarse la vida sobre las 8 ruedas del vehículo al lado de conocidos o desconocidos. Un viaje de una semana larga, por carreteras colombianas, entregando pedidos de cartón (lo que el camionero lleva de carga), emitiendo vía streaming video en tiempo real en una o dos ocasiones por día y recopilando material a ser publicado en diferido cada noche a través de la red. Esa es la intención, simple, arriesgada (?) y sin ningún propósito diferente a pasarla bueno, documentando regiones del país que ninguno tiene por qué conocer de esta manera.

Through all our life, every day, there are experiences that we would like to assume as ours. This is one of those. To go out in a truck, hit the road and live the life atop an 8 wheeler vehicle sitting beside known and unknown characters. A week long trip on Colombian highways, delivering orders of cardboard (what the trucks transport), broadcasting through streaming video live once or twice a day and gathering material to be published at the end of every night through the web. This is our intention, simple, risky (?) and with no other purpose than to have a good time, documenting regions of the country that none of us experiences in this way.

This project is part of their online strategy for their startup nullun, and besides Pacho, as Francisco is known, others are also lending a hand to make this adventure happen. The experiment began yesterday, but due to the uncertainty that comes with the job description, they haven't started on the road yet. They sit and wait for the assignment to come in and for the truck to be ready for dispatch. The following clip was streamed from the location where the truckers sit, wait and play poker:

The whole idea of going out on a truck hit home with a fellow Colombian blogger. Jorge Montoya of Fábrica de Cosas writes about his last trip with his father, a trucker who died 7 years ago on March 15th while on the road:

De Medellín salimos con un cargamento de insumos para una panadería en Sincelejo, y otras cuantas cosas para Barranquilla, pasando por Cartagena. De Barranquilla, parando en Fundación para comernos un platano con queso, fuimos a Valledupar por mangos. Pero a Valledupar también fuimos porque allí se haría la imagen mental que más resalta cuando recuerdo a mi papá: un par de hamacas colgadas debajo del camión parqueado en una estación de servicio, con la brisa del Valle, una botella de ron y un par de tabacos que amenizaban el silencio entre dos personas con la misma sangre pero con poco que contarse. Recuerdos de empatía y vallenato. El ambiente impregnado de vallenato era la regla.

From Medellín we left with a shipment of supplies for a bakery in Sincelejo, and a few other things for Barranquilla, going past Cartagena. From Barranquilla, stopping in Fundación to eat a plantain with cheese, we left for Valledupar to pick up mangoes. But to Valledupar we also went because there would be branded the mental image that most reminds me of my father: a pair of hammocks hanging under the truck, parked at a service station, the Valley's breeze, a bottle of rum and a pair of cigarrettes that made more nejoyable the silence between two people with the same blood but with little to tell one another. Memories of empathy and vallenato. The air saturated with vallenato was the norm.

It seems that truckers and their families being estranged is not uncommon. Carolina, Juan Camilo's daughter, tells in the following video about her distant relationship with her father. They greet each other cordially, but have never shared intimacy, private conversations or special occasions.

You can follow the experiment on the 8ruedas site, by adding @cinealoido, or following the #8ruedas tag on twitter, by suscribing to the Ustream video channel, or on qik. A Flickr set has also been set up to check on the images of their travels, such as this portrait of Felipe Taborda, a fellow trucker friends call “Internet” because he knows everything.

Felipe Taborda -alias "internet" by Cinealoido

Felipe Taborda -alias "internet" by Cinealoido

1 comment

  • ok Juliana! Mil gracias. Este viaje que emprendemos junto a Carlos (@carlosmtf en twitter) y Juanca el camionero, ha sido como bien dices toda una “pirinola”. Saludos y nos estamos hablando. Un abrazo.

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