A quietly intuitive visual
journey through Namibia and Zimbabwe with South African photographer Francois Visser

Francois Visser shares this visual essay of his recent travels through southern Africa with Nataal. “I had been to Namibia several times when I was younger, and wanted to go back to experience more of the country’s inseparable presence in nature due to its tremendously vast desert landscapes,” he recalls. “I also wanted to explore Zimbabwe more so I just drove to see where I’d end up.” He spent a lot of time shooting in northern Namibia near Ruacana, “a desolate but culturally rich area. These are mostly portraits of people I met through conversations while walking the streets. I met the most kind hearted people on this trip and also enjoyed driving the long stretches of dirt road through the Kaokoland and Damaraland.” 

Born in Cape Town, Visser studied psychology at university before working in advertising in London and then moving into photography. His images exist at the confluence of portraiture, documentary and landscape and are nuanced with a minimalist undercurrent. Traversing the space between observer and subject, his sense of craft and structure is driven by an experimentation that possesses a considered sensitivity to social incident and environment. “I’m interested in the deliberate yet impermanent observer where partition is less prominent. Not to convey incongruous misgiving but rather a personal impression of discrete encounters and places.”