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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Roadside comforts: truck stops on the forty days road in western Sudan
Author:Beck, KurtISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute (ISSN 0001-9720)
Geographic term:Sudan
Subjects:road transport
social environment
Abstract:This contribution examines the truck stop on the desert track known as the Forty Days Road that connects the Sudanese capital with Darfur and the regions beyond. The truck stop is represented as the main roadside institution to regulate roadside sociality, channel the relationships between travelling and roadside folk, and generally mediate between residents and strangers. On the one hand, it serves as a gateway to small-town Sudan and the hinterland, providing the social infrastructure for the commercial flow of trucks, commodities and passengers as well as for the flow of news and fashions. On the other hand, by catering for the needs of passing truck drivers and other travellers, it operates as a safe haven. It provides shelter in the most comprehensive sense of the word and thus constitutes a protected place for recovering from the pains of travelling. At the same time, however, these roadside practices of brokerage and hospitality also serve the resident society of small-town Sudan as a means to keep the travelling strangers safely apart in a circumscribed domain and, thus, keep the influences from the road in quarantine. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]