Documented between 2013 and 2021, Joyride is a photo book that vividly chronicles the excitement and autonomy of Alex Povey and his friends as they crisscross America’s wilderness and wastelands by unconventional means.
Alex Povey grew up in a small town in Sussex, South England. He often traveled to Brighton or London for punk shows in his youth. Some kids handed him a zine during one of these shows that included information about squatting, hitchhiking, and dumpster-diving. These subjects would become recurring themes in his life.
Not long after that, in 2007, he found himself in a squatter community in northeast London, squatting a large pub in Dalston, Hackney. Various transient types from around the world would pass through the squat, sharing enticing stories of traveling in other countries and continents. Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t long before he was hitchhiking and finding creative ways to avoid the costs of passenger trains while traveling around mainland Europe. He moved between the squatting communities throughout the continent, primarily between Berlin, Barcelona, and Amsterdam. Eventually, in 2012, he settled into a squat in Amsterdam. He began working a low-paying dishwashing job which enabled him to buy a proper digital camera and a ticket to the United States.
Povey landed in NYC and eventually made his way down to New Orleans, where many stateside travelers he’d met in Europe were based. From there, he took his first cross-country freight train trip to the SF Bay Area, via the Midwest, in the dead of winter. Despite the rough conditions, he was excited to learn he could see so much of the countryside without having many financial resources. So, riding freight trains became his primary mode of transport. He would spend the next nine years roaming across the continent, documenting the journey with his camera.
More recently, Povey settled in New Orleans, where he cultivates water lilies and other aquatic plants. He still takes occasional freight train trips but is currently more invested in a new preferred method of travel: bicycle touring with his Chihuahua, Pepita.
Look for Joyride, published via Burn Barrel Press in September 10th 2022.