i am | the local mystery, unexplored, undefined
i am | the blank pages of the greatest story yet to be written
i am | a small space, trapped in a big country, locked in a wide world
i am | the landscapes, the hills, the climbs
i am | the wind, rushing, fleeting
i am | the urban wild, untamed, eager, hungry
i am | the sidewalks, dirty, cracked, where stories take root
i am | the byways and roads least taken
i am | the hot, dry air
i am | the long stifling summers, pregnant with expectation
i am | the punishing, cold winters
i am | the sunrise, tranquil, promising and clean
i am | the sunsets, fiery, passionate, nostalgic
i am | the quiet night, tired, patient
i am | the eclectic fashion, many stories made by many threads
i am | the restaurants, the cafés, and the markets, hungry for more
i am | the parties, the concerts, the aural passport
i am | the hope, the promise
i am | the dream, the plan
i am | the defiant past
i am | the prosperous future
i am | now
i am | here
i am | windhoek
These photographs originally appeared on iamwindhoek.com, a photography project I started a few months ago (in March, 2015). The project’s goal, in its original conception, was to pick up my camera, put on my sneakers, and explore the sideways and byways of the city, discover the stories and places that never made it to the safari-drenched, dune-soaked tourist blogs and commercials, and write about them in an interesting and personal way. From its inception it was, I think, a personal project even if the way I introduced it to the world, and the way it operated much later, seemed to suggest it was a large, commercially-backed undertaking.
For a while, it did well. But then it ballooned and became ungovernable. It demanded constant attention and it swallowed time in gluttonous chunks. Because of the ambitious scope I set it in the beginning, the radio interviews, the Twitter handle, the Instagram account, and the Facebook page it conceived, the project became a daily struggle that focused less on creative exploration and zeroed in on content production. It became about feeding the likes and retweets.
I did not like that.
After a couple of months of relentless tweeting, photography, writing, and Instagramming I finally rammed into a creative block that led to the project’s inertia.
Now, after much introspection, I decided the project’s proper home is here, on this website, where the general Windhoek public does not assume i am | windhoek is an extension of the City of Windhoek or, worse, a new tourism or advertising agency.
The published photographs serve as teasers for the upcoming street photography I plan to pursue once again, but in the way that I had always envisioned: creatively, and in my own time.
i am | thankfully, back again.
Location: Windhoek, Namibia.
Photographer: Rémy Ngamije.