Obie Oberholzer wird die Zeit der Krise nutzen, um Material für sein fünfzehntes Buch zusammen zu stellen – mit Bildern aus 50 Jahren seiner Fotografie. Darüber und über die Zeiten der Pandemie in Südafrika haben die #FacesOfPhotography mit ihm gesprochen:
Obie, how are you in these strange times?
I guess, at my age one must take extra care, eat healthy and stay fit. Just before the tough lockdown here in South Africa, I had completed all the images for a coffee table book on TOKARA, one of the finest wine estates on this earth. (Situated near Stellenbosch) So, I had ample time to work on the editing, text and captions.
If we weren’t in crisis, what would you be working on?
I had planned to travel to the Netherlands to work with a Dutch publisher. In South Africa there are eight places named with Dutch origins. I had already photographed some of the villages all around South Africa. The intended plan was to travel to The Netherlands and shoot towns and cities with the same names. So… C’est-la-vie, we will have to see what happens down here and over there.
What are you working on instead?
I have started to collect all my travel images and stories for a my new book. I might title it, ‘WONDERER’. This will be my 15th coffee table book. Sadly, one of the magazines that I work the most for, ‘Country Life Magazine’ has ceased to publish. Many other hang in the balance.
Is it already clear what the crisis means for photography industry in the SA?
Hard to say. I think that young photographers that are just starting out, will have to find alternative work to survive. All we really have at the moment is hope.
Do you think that ways of seeing and visual languages will change against the background of the crisis?
This Covid-19 crisis had smashed the life out of so much in South Africa. The hardships for most of the population are almost unimaginable. My wife and myself are few of the fortunate ones. We live in Natures Valley, a small coastal village on the Cape south coast. It is completely surrounded by a national park.
What is your personal photographic wish for the time after the crisis?
I have been in this photographic business for almost 50 years. I will return to do what I do best —- tell stories about people and places in Southern Africa. “Follow that dream”, I’ve always called it. That dream changes with age, time and circumstances, but I will always follow it, wherever it takes me.
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