And from Belgium...
Trui Hanoulle is a photographer, graphic designer and arts teacher, but most of all a traveller by nature. We're so chuffed she's coming over from Belgium to present at The Overland Event this year; you may remember the excellent story and images she wrote in Overland issue 14 about her 'trans-Europe' ride on an electric bike.
As a young girl she hitch-hiked across Europe, drove her Simca and a Triumph Spitfire all over, then discovered the joy of the ‘iron horse’ and has never looked back.
Like a curious medieval traveller-student she wanders the globe, riding, discovering, meeting people, learning and collecting stories in image and text: Brave women, hot mountain deserts and iced coffees are her favourites.
From 1999 she started overlanding for months on end, usually towards the East where our cultures began. With fellow woman biker, writer, and then lover Gaea Schoeters, she made the book 'Girls, Muslims & Motorcycles’ about one of these journeys; through Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, Oman and Yemen.
At The Overland Event she will refer to these long motorcycle journeys, mostly in Muslim countries, but she wants to highlight one country in particular: Iran. She first explored it by accident because the country happened to be on the way to the Himalayas, yet over the years it's became the focus of her attention.
In the last 22 years she's criss-crossed Iran seven times. The fuel still costs 18p/litre, but her robes have become shorter and tighter with each visit. In this vast, fascinating and multi-layered country her last trip was different as she worked on a personal project ‘Move she does’, about pioneering women and their vehicles, whether trucks, bicycles, tuktuks, surfboards, aeroplanes or motorcycles.
The project is ongoing and will span a large array of countries over the next few years, creating articles, talks, a website, and in the end a book. She will be sharing Iranian stories of courageous women and girls (and some men). Stories about a dancing female trucker, an encounter with the morality police, about the only surfing girl in Baluchistan, about her cycling friends who ended up in court, about a rebellious village girl selling all her gold to buy her one dream: a motorcycle.
It's definitely another first for The Overland Event!