Nouadhibou Bay Through Jan Smith’s Lens

“Nouadhibou means ‘where the jackals get fat.’ It is also where ships go to die.” – Jan Smith

In 2008 photographer Jan Smith went to document the abandoned hulls of ships at Mauritania’s Nouadhibou Bay, the world’s largest ship graveyard. He would be turned away at the border, sleep in a minefield, and be accused of being a spy before he finally convinced them that his purposes were purely artistic. The government of Mauritania is, apparently, not too keen on allowing visitors in to see the collection of over 300 ships; the legacy of decades of corruption during which harbor officials were bribed into letting people simply abandon vessels, thereby allowing the owners to avoid the fees usually associated with discarding a ship.

Smith’s photos are hauntingly beautiful, stark black and white images that appear to be from another world entirely. Well worth sleeping in a minefield.

via Good Magazine

3 Responses to “Nouadhibou Bay Through Jan Smith’s Lens”

  1. Ev Says:

    These are just stunning. Thanks for sharing.

    “Rather than passing judgment, he “seeks beauty in what was left to be forgotten.”

    Great quote.

  2. Zoetica Says:

    Overwhelmingly beautiful, thank you.

  3. Mer Says:

    Incredible find. Between this and Z’s post on David Graves, there’s a whole lot of gorgeous desolation around here, lately.