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Road Wallah: Cab Drivers in India

all images from the series Road Wallah © Dougie Wallace, courtesy Printspace

A new solo exhibition about Indian taxi drivers, by Scottish social documentary photographer Dougie Wallace, is about to open.

Wallace spent four years photographing the now defunct black and yellow Premier Padmini cabs of Bombay.

The cabs are famous for their garish, psychedelic interiors, as well as the animated character of the drivers.

The cabs have been described as ‘Bollywood disco bars on wheels’, adorned with Hindu gods and goddesses, especially Ganesh, who, with his long trunk and multiple arms, is said to remove all obstacles and evils.

As the sun went down, Wallace could been seen on the streets of Bombay. He would linger at busy junctions or at traffic lights, armed with 3 flashguns and his Glaswegian forwardness.

Over the course of 17 visits to Bombay, Dougie has produced a series of the city’s taxis and the unique part they play in Indian culture, now consigned to history after the cars were phased out in 2015 following legislation to reduce air pollution in the city.

Road Wallah will be shown at theprintspace Gallery, Shoreditch, London from
19th – 27th May, immediately following a large-scale exhibition at Kolga Tbilisi Photo, Georgia.

The project will then travel to Dougie’s hometown for two of his first exhibitions in Scotland at Retina Festival from 11th – 30th July in Edinburgh and at Street Level Photoworks from 4th November to 22nd December, the latter as part of the Season of Photography 2016.