What happens when you make twenty creators converge for twelve days in a picturesque journey in five SUV’s? They collaborate to learn, unlearn and relearn through the adventures that the process lends implicitly explicit.
Five editions back, this experiment led to the formation of a start-up called RTX (Road Trip Experience Project). RTX is a travel experiment that brings artists, musicians, designers, filmmakers, and storytellers from diverse creative backgrounds on a quest to connect, collaborate and create art, films, and music while travelling.
Over the 4 prior editions, RTX has created a tribe of over 100 incredible individuals and enabled over 80 collaborations between them. The core idea of RTX revolves around exploring the unknown through unique and authentic experiences and produce epiphanies.
This year, the Roadtrip Experience Project was held in Odisha from the 10th – 22nd of January, where 18 creators including writers, illustrators, poets, muralists, musicians and photographers explored the newly divulged God’s secret – Odisha. Enabled by Odisha Tourism, the artists connected, collaborated and created unique projects on the road.
The trip churned 12 days’ worth of stories and memories. The journey began with the participants getting introduced to retrieving ancient artwork of Pattachitra & Talpatri from the artisans of Raghurajpur, a heritage art village bent on preserving this art that traces back to thousands of years. The tribe then moved to Konark Natya Mandap which hosts the dying dance form “GOTIPUA” every year. They gave a new touch to the place with their art, designed their website, and helped them to create a pitch to invite more people.The RTX clan then proceeded on their journey, driving from one destination to the other – rejoicing the trip while celebrating Makar Sankranti at the auspicious Kalijai temple with myriad visitors and hues.
The clan then proceeded towards natural beauty with visits to the Satkosia tiger reserve, and the bird sanctuary at Mangalajodi with more than 500,000 migratory birds. At Gopalpur, they explored India’s first beach house and headed towards Mayurbhanj where Belgadia Palace provided them with a taste of the rich history of Odisha.
On the final day, the clan collaborated with Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences to create a coffee table book that showcases the journey and self-exploration of a student at the institute. They also conducted a workshop with the tribal children to market their art and taught them a few DIY techniques for creating marketable products.
The intact process of RTX is poetic in a way, as through the journey, discussions become ideas, which then result in creative projects. As in this case, the journey served as a platform for diverse creative artists to nurture the tradition of Odisha, balancing with the scalable development offered by the state. It is indeed a blend of culture, ideas, travels, and endless friendship that the 12 days and nights have created.
First timer Ayushi Shah, a writer and poet said, “The last 12 days have been life-altering in ways more than one. Apart from meeting exceptional people from across the world and discovering places I have never heard of, it reignited my passion for photography. Conversations around the campfire, painting after years, bird watching – the road trip has left me with memories that I will cherish for a lifetime.”
“I wanted to bring RTX home. Odisha is my birthplace and I have grown up around this environment. Looking at it from the lens of 16 creative artists was nothing short of experiencing it once again. It has been an incredible journey – to bring people here and explore the same place I lived in, in a different way,”said Jaytirth Ahya who is originally from Odisha and the founder of this successful start-up.