Rafal Milach's (Gliwice, Poland 1978) project In The Car With R is a part of a group project about Iceland, done by Polish photographers from collective Sputnik Photos during 2010. Five Polish photographers and five Icelandic writers have been working together to show their view on contemporary Iceland through personal, individual stories of Icelanders. The outcome of the project is resulted not only in the series of exhibitions, but also in a book named IS (not). In The Car With R was awarded Jury's Choice Grand Prize in New York Photo Festival Awards and it also gained honorable mention in book category.
“To do the Ring” is an Icelandic expression that generally refers to travels on Route 1, the highway that encircles the country. To travel this road is something that most Icelanders do at some point in their lives and some even prefer to do it every summer. The reasons for going are of course different but many people probably set out with the idea that on the way they'll learn more about their fellow Icelanders and native beliefs; that they'll see more of their country. However, traveling on the Ring Road is a risky business. On the way you might learn something about yourself or your family, regardless of whether they live close to the highway or share the car with you. A lot of journeys on the Ring Road have ended in divorce but as a result of others, babies have been born. And there is no guarantee that you'll learn more about Iceland on the way. When it comes to traveling (and photography?), what you see matters less than the way you look at it.
We did the Ring. In May of 2010, driving a green Opel Astra Station, 1994 model. And we were back on square one ten days and 1450 kilometers later.
Text by Huldar Breiðfjörð