Kolmanskop – Past and Present
Helga Kohl, Amy Schoeman
Edition Namibia Band 9
Klau Hess Verlag 2004
23 x 27 cm, hardcover, 120 pages, 61 colour pictures, 20 historical b/w pictures, 1 map
Kolmanskop, a ghost town situated in the southern Namib Desert about 10 km inland from Lüderitz, is one of Namibia’s most intiguing relics of the past. At one time the focal point of the diamond industry in Namibia, it was deserted in 1956 following the discovery of richer diamond fields further south. Left to the mercy of the blasting winds and encroaching sands of the Namib, its structures gradually crumbled and fell apart. The book was inspired by a portfolio of classically composed photographs taken during the mind-nineties by Namibian photographer, Helga Kohl FPPSA.
The 61 images reproduced as the Kolmanskop Portfolio are not only a valuable historical record of the havoc wreaked on the town by wind and weather, but also give an incisive glimpse into the scale and grandeur of the lifestyle of Kolmanskop’s inhabitants when the town was in its heyday. Free-lance writer and photgrapher, Amy Schoeman, traces the rise and fall of Kolmanskop against the history of the diamond industry in the then South West Africa. The historical text is illustrated with black and white archival photographs, some of which have not been published before.