Lands That History Forgot – a film by Future Pasts

Posted on March 8, 2024

A new film titled Lands That History Forgot: Three Journeys With Nami-Daman Elders in North-west Namibia has been launched by Future Pasts and Etosha-Kunene Histories, funded by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council.
You can watch the film here.

The first film, The Music Returns to Kai-as, is also part of the Future Pasts project, with local organisations in north-west Namibia (the Sesfontein Conservancy, the Namidaman Traditional Authority, and Save the Rhino Trust Namibia), supported the Hoanib Cultural Group from Sesfontein to return to Kai-as – a place where people once lived.

Kai-as is mentioned as an important place in peoples’ pasts in oral history research with elderly people now living on the edge of a major tourism concession. Kai-as and its strong spring of sweet water feature in peoples’ memory as where they would meet when rain season foods became available in this arid landscape. These congregations are remembered as times when people would play their |gais praise songs and arus healing dances. ‘Our hearts were happy there’, they said.

In the decades since, access has been restricted to places important in peoples’ pasts as land areas were claimed for mining, commercial farming, conservation and tourism.

The films celebrate peoples’ resilience in the face of the extreme marginalisation and exclusion effected by processes of colonisation and apartheid.

The Music Returns to Kai-as: 52 minute version here and 30 minute version here.