Images shape our perceptions of places and post cards shape our preconceived notions. Upon arriving in Windhoek, there were plenty of different shops where right at the register would be an array of beautiful, scenic postcards of breath taking sand dunes, lions waiting in the bush, traditional communities dressed up in bright pink clothing, and of numerous species of animals all at a single waterhole. These post cards became cemented in my mind and when we began travelling, I expected everything to be just like the postcards.
And yes, we did see plenty of animals, breath taking views, and some people dressed up traditionally. However, Namibia is much more than what the postcards portray. Nor are the postcards any new feature of Namibian life. They were used as early as German colonialism in the colonies for means of manipulation, whether through scenes of empty landscapes to attract colonists or in horrifying and violent pictures of black suppression to reinforce their notions of racial supremacy at the time.
During our time in Namibia, both traveling and in Windhoek, we were to experience, both in person and through the lens of our cameras, a vast variety of things. We saw great sand dunes but also colourful houses in Windhoek. There were the Big Five in Etosha but also guard dogs wandering different towns. And there were traditional communities both dressed up and living everyday life in regular clothes. Post cards only give a selected glimpse into what Namibia truly offers.