A Project by Mafalda Rakoš

Stop & Go—A Hitchhiker's Finger on the Pulse of Time

Mafalda Rakoš is a documentary photographer trained as an anthropologist. She is nominated in the category Still Images, Loud Voices, mentored by Tobias Zielony, with a project that delves into the social psychology of Europe’s highway system, with a destination yet to be determined.

Hitchhiking is a disappearing tradition, but her self-described “obsession” with it is partly inspired by encountering strangers in the intimate setting of their own vehicle. “‘Are you not afraid?‘ I am naturally asked the moment I enter the car,“ she says. What does it mean when a 23-year-old driver offers her a lift, but before putting her backpack in his trunk, nervously makes sure there are no bombs in it? What can she learn from hourlong conversations with Russian truckers, newlyweds, the driver of a “cocaine taxi,” or the founders of the Dutch Hairdressers Award?

At the digital Forecast Forum, she will show stills and moving images from her recent hitchhiking trips across Europe to discuss the anthropological aspects of traveling alone with strangers, and the intimacy of taking their portrait.

Mafalda Rakoš. Video by Moois