Interiors in which, instead of furniture, a sea of sand dominates the view, flowing in through the windows: In his photographic essay “uninhabited”, James Kerwin captures the deserted towns and villages of the world from Ukraine to Namibia.
English photographer and visual storyteller James Kerwin began working on his photo series “uninhabited” in 2019, which he originally planned out to be a 5-year project, but the pandemic intervened. Although he had to interrupt his travels for a while, he published the photos he had taken so far, allowing us to get a little closer to the ghost towns of the world.
Travelers are often spellbound by the deserted towns and villages of the world, which are appealing thanks to their eerily beautiful and shocking scenery as well as the mystical stories associated with them. Such a city is Pripyat, which has been abandoned since the Chernobyl nuclear disaster but became a popular tourist destination, or the Turkish town Kayaköy, both of which were shot by Kerwin. Visually, however, the photos taken in ghost towns situated in the desert might be even more breathtaking. In the houses of Kolmanskop, Namibia and Al Madam in the United Arab Emirates, instead of furniture, the main features of interior photos are sand dunes, which change their color tones throughout the day according to the journey of the light.
Kerwin spent days at each location in order to capture the dominance of nature over built environments in various light conditions. This is how he took the photo in which we can see sunlight seeping through the gaps between the wooden beams of a house, drawing patterns on the walls and sand dunes. The photographer also documented his creative process on video: We can learn about his first impressions and the steps of taking these photos on his YouTube channel.