Toufic sent me the following background information about his series:
The small seaside resort town of Swakopmund lies on the coast of Namibia. It was established in 1892 as the main harbor for Namibia’s German colonizers, and still bears the marks of those years of German rule – in its architecture, shopping chains, and signage.
For much of the year, Swakopmund lies silently shrouded in fog. But in the summer, the fog lifts, and the tourists flock, drawn to the grand hotels, the moody beach and the bustling cafes. The population is a colorful mix of retired Germans, young black and colored people who live in housing projects just outside of the main village, and the Himba tribes people who have trekked down from the north, dressed in traditional garb and selling self-made jewelry crafted from PVC piping and other found objects.
It is a peaceful and strange town, seemingly stuck in a region of time that one can’t quite identify. It was the setting for the recent remake of the TV show, The Prisoner, and it’s easy to see why. Its weirdness lies in the massive dunes that line the coast, the rusted wrecks of ships stranded in the desert off the Skeleton Coast; the bright paint work on the houses; the evocativeness of the Himba tribeswomen walking topless through German supermarkets; the abandoned railways linking the town to the old, inland uranium mines; the deserted German outposts standing as bastions of the country’s colonial past; the oft-repeated newspaper images of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt on yet another visit.
There’s no other town quite like it.
You can see more of Toufic’s work here.