Anton Crone

“Keetmanshoop”


ARTIST STATEMENT

Keetmanshoop is a small town in the arid Namibian interior. The name translates “Keetman’s Hope”, named after a German businessman, Johann Keetman, who donated funds to establish a mission station here during German colonization in the late 1800’s. The days of German rule have long passed, but this legacy, and the legacy of the South African Apartheid government that held sway over this country for many years, is still apparent. It is a town divided, a dusty stop on the way to the diamond-rich coast. In Keetmanshoop, the highway divides white from black and what little wealth there is remains on one side. There is little hope here. I photographed this homeless man wandering the white side of town. He was deranged, and when I asked to photograph him, he motioned for me to wait, then he lifted dust from the dirt road and smeared it over his head and face. I am a freelance photographer and writer.

Selected by Julian Cox, Curator of Photography and Chief Curator at the de Young Museum, San Francisco.