The first presents the facts – names, dates, places, etc. – which are readily available on the internet and from other sources. – readily available on the internet and from other sources relating to disappearances and murders. The second textual voice includes various extracts from a diary I kept on the road. The third textual voice is made up of extracts from recorded conversations with locals I met in the area, all of whom had some connection with the women and girls murdered or missing along the Route des Larmes; texts by François Cheval, Gladys Radek and Kourtney Roy.
“I wanted to break out of the limited sphere I’d built up in my previous work, to enter into the everyday reality of the people who live along this route, and so understand a little of what their lives have been and continue to be, even if this project poses many problems and questions. In fact, it was precisely for these reasons that I wanted to go there.
Often, the places where many of the corpses were discovered remain unmarked. They were ordinary, unremarkable, unnoticed places. This banality of the sites was disturbing, very moving. It was this “triviality” that I wanted to photograph, to reveal the incidental, marginal details of the road, to give these places a sense of disquiet and ambiguity. The shadow of what had oozed along this road tapped with its spider legs against the glass jar of my imagination…
At night, the light of car headlights would penetrate my room and wake me with a start, my heart pounding: I began to imagine that I was being followed, that someone had noticed my presence.
Between rumors of large-scale sexual exploitation and violence on the part of the PMRC, serial killer truckers and drug deals gone haywire, I’d been told stories so brutal and horrifying that my thoughts raced in a whirlwind of paranoia and fear. Like others before me, I wondered if there wasn’t a larger conspiracy beyond those murdered women and girls.
The next morning, I emerged from the hotel and the sun rising over the mountains temporarily dispelled my night terrors. The indifferent yet mesmerizing landscape urged me to interrogate the secrets and unsolved atrocities that haunt the Road of Tears.” Kourtney Roy, excerpts.