#7 - Nomadology

The Nomadology Project

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the nomadology project


“Here we go, kids. Breathe in a lungful of petrol fumes and take flight, high on fossil fuels.
Scatter now, travel is cheap - but it won’t be forever.
What if we are the last airborne generation?”

Crossing from the personal to the political, local to the global, Nomadology is an anthology of anecdotes, gonzo journalism, personal confessions and political reflections by digital gypsies on the nature of travel in a globalised world. Nomadology features unconventional travel stories with a consciousness that taps into a generation of young travellers seeking something more than the tourism circuits promoted by generic guidebooks and package holidays. From the central Australian desert to the red light districts of New Delhi, hitch-hiking across the USA with a pyromaniac gulf-war veteran to body-bagging in Thailand after the tsunami, or meeting the discoverer of LSD in Switzerland on his one hundredth birthday, the tales in Nomadology explore the world in a unique, yet personal way. What unites the stories is the question of what travel means in a globalised world. What is the connection between the modern backpacker and the philosophy of the nomad in traditional cultures, and how do we trascend the barriers of culture and connect with the places we are travelling through.

Project History:
The Nomadology Book is the result of 18 months of writing through Undergrowth’s Nomadology website created with the support of the Australia Council for the Arts which employs blogging software that allows contributors to post coordinates of where and when they are writing their stories from. It was edited and designed, Tim Parish, writer, video artist and founder of Undergrowth.org and Nicolas Low, an English Literature Post Gradute student at Melbourne University and designer of the Nomadology site . The contributors to the book range from activists to artists, teachers to journalists, amateur shamans to itinerant performers.

citt williams's picture

Roadtrip through Western Pamirs, Tajikistan

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The Tajikistan Pamirs are an incredibly remote part of the world. To get there you either need to drive for 16 hours (sometimes 20) from Dushanbe (Tajikistan's capital city), on a road that makes a milkshake seem tame or you can take a tiny plane that doesn’t quite get up above 6000m cliff faces. Despite the horror stories, the flight was worth it. Looking out the window to the south, the Hindu Kush mountain range of Afghanistan was clearly visible and at times too close!

After notably fuelling the car in Khorog for our 600km journey, we took off South towards the Wakhan Valley. This fertile valley has been inhabited and used as a Silk road trade route for centuries and is littered with archaeological markers. Age old petroglyphs, 3rd century BC Forts, Buddhist stupas and hermit caves, Islamic mausoleums, and burnt out army tanks document the valley’s colourful history.

'Chaos Engines' by Arrow




Chaos Engines
arrow | 1:27pm, wed 17 aug 2005 | Tokyo Technopolis

reprinted from Undergrowth #7 - Nomadology - http://www.dislocated.org/nomadology/book.php

So I met this character in Darwin in January claiming to be running some kind of underground magazine or something, says he’s just set up a new part of it; travelling blogs, nomadic style. Said I might be interested. I was, but it’s taken me a good few months to get my shit together to contribute to this li’l thing. Let me tell you why.

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'Smothertongue' > by Dan ( )


Smother Tongue
Dan | 12:22am,Mon 29 aug 2005 | Siantar, Indonesia

reprinted From Undergrowth #7 - Nomadology

I’m a teacher, apparently. At least, I’ve instructed no less than eight classes of students in the last week. In every village, the English teachers lie in predatory wait for foreigners. If I get seen, they grab me by the arm, drag me into class, plonk me in front of the students and say, “Mister Dan, would you please tell my students why English is such an important language.” Hum.

By the end of the week, I am beginning to get shirty with the procedure, in particular with being detained for many hours on the pretext of dropping by for a few minutes. Gotta learn to stop that. But it’s hard to find reasons to say no, I’m sorry, I know your school is underprivileged, but I would rather drink avocado smoothies and hang out with my art school mates on the lawn. The flattery helps, too. Nothing fluffs up the old ego like being needed. Look at me ma, I’m making a difference. And so it continues.

verb's picture

'Booty Dancing and Petroleum Dreaming' by Tim Parish

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Booty Dancing and Petroleum Dreaming
Verb | 10:35am, Fri 23 Sep 2005 | Gunbalunya, Arnhem Land

Bam bam bam chk bam bam bam bam bam chk (repeat).The eighties hardcore techno track ‘Here’s Johnny’ pumps from the Blue Light Disco’s sound system of the youth centre as we enter through the roller doors. In front of us, the concrete dance floor is packed with waste-high kids bumping and grinding their little bums to the beat. The girls stand with their feet firmly planted on the ground, ass out, hands on knees in controlled motions. Some of the boys are more radical, busting out electric waves and robot breakdancing moves.

'Poet, Fool or Bum' by Beth Sometimes



Poet, Fool or Bum?
Miss Sometimes | 2:21pm, Sun 29 Jan 2006 | El Paso, Texas

An endless day. Crampy greyhound sleep interlaced with heavy Texan accents and five am McDonalds breakfast stops that seemed unfair to count as beginnings or endings. El Paso bus station at around midnight seemed to be the maddest, baddest, saddest place we could lay our America-fresh eyes upon. A thick ‘n’ rich jungle of stereotype. A woman with terrible skin covered in skin-coloured paste, wearing teddy bear pyjama pants and clutching a blankie, huddled on a seat nearby. A woman wearing a leather stars’n’stripes ‘Support Our Troops’ jacket, crouched strange, cat-like in an unused corner. Several obese young men staring deadly at anything but their own souls, fat cheeks pushing fat lips into a sad pout. An ultra-trash young couple came in bitchin’ loudly, making a beeline for the row of personal coin operated TV-chairs. I heard another lady confessing she didn’t know where she was going, but she was going somewhere.

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