Why is it sometimes easier to follow unfulfilled dreams, than turn around and start from new?

A Portrait on the Search for Happiness is a

multimedia project consisting of photos, texts, 360 degree experiences and filmepisodes.

 

Experience the forgotten foggy village of Port Nolloth, the port of diamonds as we explore the human pursuit of happiness.

 

02

WHO ARE WE

BENJAMIN ROST

Benjamin Rost is a filmmaker from Germany, who lost half of his heart in Africa. He is interested in self-experiments and finding love under stones. He is a director for the Bavarian Television, Directing-Student at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg and part of the scholarship program of Studienstftung des deutschen Volkes. (www.framesinamirror.de)

ANGELA M. SCHLABITZ

Angela M. Schlabitz is a photographer, retouching artist and happiness seeker from Namibia. Her base is in Munich. She is interested in light, dark shadows, and freckles. She is working as a freelance artist on the Camino de Santiago, Namibia, South Africa and Germany. (www.abitze-fotoartist.com)

 

ARENTD

Arendt struggled hard in life. He found success as a diamond diver in earlier years until his boat, the Alabama, stranded a few years ago. The wreck has lay on Port Nolloth’s beach ever since. But, for three years Arendt’s been working to repair it with nothing more than his bare hands and unbridled energy. When we meet Arendt for the first time he looks tired and his hands are swollen. His boat must go back to the sea the following day. The port authority is pressurizing him to get his boat off the beach, but a lot of things are still not ready, and the oars don’t work. 
He also had a small house at the beach, but a fire burnt it down just a few months ago.
On the rare nights that the village is free of fog, he watches the stars through a telescope and tracks Russian rockets falling from the sky over the Atlantic Sea.
He dreams of finding another treasure, one last time, out there on the misty sea. Then life will be ok again...

CHRISTO &

KITTY

Christo and Kitty have known each other since their youth. Early on, with their three kids, they travelled across South Africa to find a place to build a life. But, their relationship failed. Christo was a professional sports diver and was always on the road. After an incidental meeting 25 years later, both marked by life and their former relationships, they decide to rekindle their relationship. At the edge of the world, in Port Nolloth. 
Just outside the village, in between stones and sand, they’ve opened their own little camping paradise. Secreted behind a green fence are two dogs, an uncountable  number of cats, and a lake of flowers. At night, in the village bar, they drink brandy with water, and the full warmth and affection of this relationship shines through the purple neon lights. They’ve finally found a place to call home in Port Nolloth.

ROSIE

Rosie, a member of the Nama-Tribe, runs a fish-shop at the beach. In her youth she worked at the big fish factory. She was ambitious and worked her way up to become the production leader of the whole factory. Unfortunately the sea was exploited too much by big companies and the factory ended up bankrupt. Around this time Rosie won about R50 000 in a lottery and invested everything to buy the abandoned factory, the shop and the freezers. Today she still sells fresh hake, snoek and lobster but fish populations are dwindling. Yet as she guides the rare tourist through the pride of her life, her own little shop, a small smile hides behind the wistfulness. For Rosie, giving up is never an option.

GEORGE

George Moyses is a pioneer. After stranding here in the early 70s, he became one of the first diamond divers in the village and made millions.
He was also a womanizer in his younger times until a propeller badly damaged his face. Today not much is left of his former wealth. He lives, barefooted, in a small container-hut close to the beach collecting newspaper articles, shark-skeletons and old diving suits, but he’s running out of space. That is why, for the last few years, he and his daughter have been guiding the rare tourists to Port Nolloth through his own small museum in the centre of the village. Every item there has at least one story: whether it’s an old radio speaker, a diamond-libra or the necklace of his late best friend.

AVENGER

TATTUMM

Avenger-Tattumm is 6 years old and from the Nama-Tribe. She lives with her family, one dune behind the village. Every afternoon she jokes around with the fishermen coming back from the sea, wearing a funny jumpsuit and her biggest smile. Her mother knew at her birth that she was born to be a superhero. People say she has her mother’s eyes. But the future for Avenger is unpredictable as the sea’s been emptied by industrial trawlers, and diamonds no longer stipple the ocean floor like mussels.

OOM

TOENS

Oom Toens is the welcome anomaly amongst the inhabitants of Port Nolloth. He used to be a Police officer and so has seen the good and the bad sides of the village-life. Today he speaks quite openly about it all, even the illegal diamond trades, the smugglers, and the dirty business behind it. On his cap he has written the words: 'Nasty Big Bad Bastard'. People fear and respect his  2.05m tall appearance, and, despite him being 69 years old, he’s still one of the most sought-after security guards in the village. Having lived here all his life, he knows every inch of Port Nolloth like the inside of his military jacket pocket. 'Only the toughest survive', is his motto.

 
 

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05

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