Namibia celebrated 24 years of independence last Friday (21 March)
The Founding President and Father of the Namibian Nation, Dr Sam Nujoma, together with Cabinet ministers, senior government officials and members of the diplomatic corps last Thursday witnessed three nation-building and historical events when President Hifikepunye Pohamba inaugurated the Independence Memorial Museum and unveiled the Genocide Memorial and giant Sam Nujoma Statue in Windhoek.
The museum is a structure that has caused much consternation and controversy See here. But after many years of standing behind barbed wire, it is now open to the public.
The two new statues (I won’t call them sculptures as they are totally lacking in any artistic merit in my opinion) are now the subject of further controversy.
The arguments are fairly simple. A well-known memorial to fallen German soldiers (the Reiterdenkmal Here ) was removed to make way for the new “Genocide’ Memorial. The memorial was removed on Christmas Day under tight police guard and various interested parties are now threatening to sue the Government for removing a monument protected by the National Heritage Act of 2004. They say removing the Reiterdenkmal is a punishable crime as the Constitution states that anyone who contravenes it "is liable to a fine not exceeding N$100 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years, or to both such fine and such imprisonment."
Here is a larger version
This photograph is copyright of Rosemary Walden - © Rosemary Walden 2014. All rights reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of the image in any form is prohibited. You may not, except with my express written permission, copy, reproduce, download, distribute or exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system
Critiques | Translate
timecapturer (44431) 2014-03-24 3:10
nice to see this impressive memorial finally free of the barbed wire, but unfortunately the controversy remains. Like your POV and use of B&W which gives the shot impact and a touch of drama, that echoes the ongoing saga over this monument.
Have a good week - B.
snunney (78789) 2014-03-24 3:30
A fine upwards point of view on this controversial memorial. For some reason, the distortion occasioned by the use of the ultra wide angle lens does not seem out of place here. Judicious choice of black and white as the medium to accentuate the mood.
Romano46 (16578) 2014-03-24 4:00
un bianco e nero eccellente nella successione dei grigi e molto ben fatto anche dal punto di vista compositivo anche per la scelta di un POV eccellente e di un'ottica adeguata.
Ciao e buona settimana
Sergiom (53775) 2014-03-24 4:48
J'aime beaucoup le point de vue très bas sur le monument ainsi que sur la structure très moderne derrière. Le tout a beaucoup d'ampleur. Le noir et blanc donne un petit côté documentaire intéressant.
holmertz (36441) 2014-03-24 9:30
I remember the earlier photos very well, so it's interesting to see the controversies going on. To erect a giant statue of somebody still alive - and whose party is still running the country - smells a lot of arrogance and authoritarianism to me. After all, Nujoma is no Mandela. But this is still a good photo with the rather too imposing structures given a cloudy sky as a fine backdrop. As usual the large version greatly enhances the impression.
Subhogen (4063) 2014-03-24 11:22
A fine reportage photo with an excellent report. I think I agree with Gert's comments over here. A statue of someone who is still alive does not look good. In India too we have a lady leader who specializes in erecting her own statues and she is nowhere close to dying :-) Good choice of upward pointing POV to uphold the 'aloft' idea. The B&W treatment is the perfect choice for the mood of the photo. I learnt a lot about Namibian politics from your note and photo. Thanks for sharing.
photographer_sg (2542) 2014-03-24 12:19
i think the way you have composed the picture and the black and white treatment convey your feelings very well. The imposing monument and the leader both pictured with the clouded sky as background. The note is informative and insightful.
Thanks for sharing and have a nice evening.
carlo62 (26856) 2014-03-24 15:02
la foto è bella e ben fatta, il b&w si addice a questo tipo di immagini, ma la tua nota non ha molto a che vedere con la bellezza, ma si tratta di diritti.
Non sono in grado di capire quello che è successo e come è successo, ma ho l'impressione che ci siano molte cose da correggere e rivedere.
lousat (71411) 2014-03-24 15:25
HI Rosemary,this black and white scenery remember me a bit the Italy under the Mussolini's years,with this geometric architechtures and imposing perspectives,a great capture made with the usual excellent quality,excellent way to celebrate the republic anniversary.Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano
ACL1978 (7463) 2014-03-24 16:21
I remember this building from previous shots, Rosemary, and I'm sorry the controversy still surrounds it, though I'm glad the citizens of Windhoek and Namibia will finally get a look at what's been created. Hopefully it presents a balanced, informative view of Namibia's history sand independence. I love your perspective here, creating a really strong vertical tilt that the museum falls into perfectly, while the statue follows it, constitution raised aloft. Great choice for B&W. I wonder if you'll post an image of the Genocide memorial? I've always been interested in the ways people memorialize these events. You seem to indicate you don't like it as a piece of art, however?
Thanks for this and for more looks into the history and modern existence of a country we don't hear much about in the US.
photoray (9849) 2014-03-24 17:54
Not knowing the political controversies, I am attracted to the unusual architecture displayed herein. Appearing somewhat like 'science fiction' perhaps?
Thanks for sharing,
delpeoples (52289) 2014-03-24 19:26
HI dear Rosemary
I really love this low POV, the bokeh effect on the building and statue and the wonderful perspective added by the sky. The monochrome was a great choice, befitting not just the controversy over the memorials, but also amplifying the graphism and the texture of the clouds. Interesting note too.
Hugs, hope you're having a great week
jjcordier (72614) 2014-03-25 0:22
Une note très intéressante illustrée par cette très bonne photo en noir et blanc de ce monument controversé.
subhendu_bagchi (25105) 2014-03-25 8:58
your low angle shoot created here a nice atmosphere through thee distortion effect. I enjoyed it a lot. The sculpture is made some sense through your composition. Nice conversation in black and white. Tfs.
GyurMaster (509) 2014-03-25 14:22
It's a very spectacular composition with excellent finishing!
fabbs99 (15675) 2014-03-30 22:43
Nice shot to commemorate 24 years of independence for Namibia.The constitution matters if the country has to evolve and we can never forget the contributions of the makers of the constitution.Excellent show.Keep sharing.
jmdias (51959) 2014-06-22 6:42
this building really call the attention and made a big contrast with the colonial buildings around. probably it would be better to build this memorial in another corner of the town, preserving the original site of the town, but we know how the "rulers" like to let their mark in the way...
very nice angle catching the sculpture, I didn't see while there at september.