Thursday, January 31, 2008

The sand wins in the end

This photo series I have stumbled upon everywhere in the past few days. The photographer is Richard Ehrlich.

The images are not from a dystopian future in the Sandlands, after the bubble has burst and all the workers have gone home. The location is Namibia, in southwest Africa.

The town of Kolmanskop sprang up in 1908 after diamonds were discovered in the desert sand. By 1920 Kolmanskop was a booming mining town with 300 German expatriates and their families - a hospital, gymnasium, casino, bowling alley, and power station. Houses were built and decorated in beautiful colors with great artistic sensibility, presumably to offset the lonely existence in the middle of the desert. By 1928, however, the diamond deposits dried up and the town was abandoned to the elements. The skeletal remains of the houses are now left to sand and time, with every room constantly shifting and re-emerging as the wind shifts.

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