Book – Pictures with a slice of life

2012-02-24 14:50

This book takes you on a journey from home in South

Africa all the way north to Egypt and beyond to the Middle East, taking

in the sights of Botswana, Namibia, Yemen and Ethiopia.

It’s not

just a straightforward photography book with landscapes, portraits and

street life you so often see on the shelves of second-hand bookstores.

It’s more than that. Oberholzer tells the stories of life in South

Africa, growing up on a farm, and gives interesting background

information on the people and places he photographs.


Fokkolfontein to Johannesburg, Diesel & Dust takes you to places you

have never even heard of. It shows fascinating places, people,

textures, moments and compositions. What makes it really interesting are

the stories that go with many of the images – a little slice of life

around the photograph.

This book would probably not appeal to

someone who wants the perfect postcard picture of Table Mountain in Cape

Town or the Pyramids in Egypt.

It shows non-tourist sites and cultures.


of the strongest images that stood out for me was of a dead shark

washed up with seaweed on a beach in Yemen. The textures of the seaweed

and dried-out shark skin collaborate to form a piece of art fit for any


Another stunning image that is a surprise in a

coffee table photography book is of yellow paint splattered on a tar

road outside Grahamstown, something most people would never even think

of photographing.

The stories keep you curious, wanting to know

more, especially the one of Colonel Jan Breytenbach, photographed under

the skeleton of an elephant while telling the tale of the disappearance

of the great elephant herds of Africa.

All in all, a visually captivating book with images and moments you wouldn’t expect to see.

» At

Circa on Jellicoe you can see more of Obie Oberholzer’s work as part of

an exhibition titled Long Distance. The exhibition runs until March 10

» Tell us what you think: Leave your comment below or comment on our Facebook page or on Twitter @City_Press
» Did you know? City Press has an iPad app. Find us in the app store

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