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Intersecting lines, motorway overhead, railway below. Signs point to places in a different country. Bus stops, metro stations, tram lines. Severe concrete outskirts, roundabouts and conflicting angles, stripes and chequerboards painted on tarmac, kebab shops and tattoo parlours, chain hotels and car dealerships, fast food and deserted offices. Torn edges, scruffy urban collage, new parts stuck over old parts, the past leaks through. Pictures framed between pillars and flyovers. Alphaville and bits of monochrome road movies play in my head: Alice In The Cities, Radio On. Black and white dirties to grey-brown as we pull ourselves from the city. Horizon blurred. A bend in the road, the smell of cow shit. Rumble and clatter over a cobbled farm track. Château d’eau and cooling towers scattered. Scratch cards and coffee trying to avoid the rain… an hour and half and 35km later gloves and buffs dry out on a radiator in a bright orange burger joint. Sleepy Sunday villages. Metal shutters pulled down over windows. Haunted châteaus. Wheels slide on mud splattered pavé. Pylons stride across the fields as once did young men now laying beneath orderly bright white tombstones. L’enfer du Nord. The light drains behind the horizon. This morning’s roads backwards, brightly lit in neon and LED. Return through Alphaville, now the unprinted negative.

B&W photos by Michal

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