Thursday, 20. November 2008

Socialising on the road

Pothole ethnography: why they need to be repaired

Quite easy to tell, these pictures were taken during the rainy season. The trees are lush, the grass on the soft verge asks for serious weeding, and the potholes need to be repaired. Heavy rains - with the help of vehicles constantly bumping into the eroding asphalt - created this particular pothole in front of our house. I was sure, though, that Ofori was filling it with soil for the sake of the passing vehicles: they risk to have their tire or chassis damaged when hitting the whole. Wrong. Ofori is concerned about his own safety. This pothole is potentially fatal, he says, as a driver hitting it could easily lose control and swerve off - right onto the pavement where he spends lots of his free time socialising and watching the road. And who wants to get killed while chatting with friends anyway?

Walking and chatting on the pavement

Experiencing the Accra-Kumasi Road (AKR):

An ethnographic project on roads, commercial driving and everyday travel in Ghana [more]

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Ch1: Accra-Kumasi Road
Ch2: Inhabiting the roadside
Ch3: Road travelling
Ch4: Passenger's body
Ch5: Commercial driving
Ch6: Roadfaring skills
ChX: Religion on the road
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