Art on Wheels

In his new book, On Wings of Diesel, Jamal Elias, professor of Religious Studies, takes readers on journey through the world of Pakistani truck decoration. These ornately adorned vehicles depict all aspects of life and fuel an extensive artisanal industry. To provide a unique understanding of Pakistan’s complex society, Elias explores designs and motifs in truck art, the motivations of those involved in the practice and its cultural significance. An accomplished amateur photographer, Elias illustrates his research with vivid photos of these “mechanical dinosaurs adorned in full courtship colors.”

In this audio slideshow, view Elias’ pictures of Pakistani truck art and listen to him discuss his research.

Rachel Witte and Nikkolai Davenport contributed to this story.

Video courtesy of Penn Arts & Sciences.