Chaos in the Valley
Isma Montfort Foto

Every year, the valley through which the Shenandoah River flows hosts up to three "Demolition Derbies" in which the drivers deliberately ram their vehicles into those of their competitors in order to smash them out of the race. It’s one of those festivals of destruction enveloped in gasoline fumes that are far from unusual in rural parts of the USA.

In spite of the many hours they spend preparing their vehicles, the competitors are not professional drivers. The revenue generated by the events is donated to the local volunteer fire-fighters. But adrenaline is addictive, and each year more and more drivers are tempted to don their crash helmets and prepare for a smash-up.

The Derbies are dangerous, although few serious injuries are incurred on the muddy racing tracks, where the last driver whose car is still operational receives the winner’s cash prize. Each year in October, hundreds of participants gather in Woodstock (Virginia) for the "Chaos in the Valley" Derby, the biggest held in the Shenandoah Valley.

Then you can watch the documentary that accompanies the exhibition, where protagonists tell us how these derbies live and what they mean for them. -> SEE DOCUMENTARY

Isma Montfort
Isma Montfort