Repatriating Musics Digitised by the British Library to the Nami-Daman Traditional Authority, North-west Namibia

Posted on January 16, 2024

Sian Sullivan, Professor of Environment and Culture, has acted as the Research Advisor in negotiations between the British Library and the Nami-Daman Traditional Authority, north-west Namibia, to facilitate repatriation of an archive of digitised musics originally recorded in Sesfontein in 1999.

Recorded by ethnomusicologists Emmanuelle Olivier from France and the late Minette Mans from the University of Namibia, in 2015 this collection of recordings was retrieved from Olivier in France by ethnomusicologist Angela Impey, together with Olivier’s full set of recordings, images and notes from her wide-ranging ethnomusicology research in Namibia in the 1990s.

Following a lengthy process of negotiation, the full set of digitised recordings from Sesfontein was returned to the Nami-Daman Traditional Authority and the Hoanib Cultural Group in March 2022: as documented in a British Library Sound and Vision Blog (Sullivan et al. 2023). Read the full story here.