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Kaoko Local Knowledge Living Archive Project - The Well of Stories (Namibia)

This project is taking place in the Northwest of Namibia, in a region known by the local Himba people as Kaoko. It was managed by Doxa Productions’ Living Archive Project that is based in South Africa and has been working with the Himba community for 13 years.
Kaoko Local Knowledge Living Archive Project - The Well of Stories (Namibia)The aim of the Living Archive Project is to map the memory of the Himba people and to contribute towards the sustainable continuance of a way of life that is constantly challenged. It focuses on the production of an interactive DVD-Rom, that contains a living archive of the Himba oral culture, which can be described as an interdisciplinary creative exercise combining the skills of filmmakers, historians, cartographers, anthropologists and multi-media designers, taking as a starting point the landscape in which different events take place and the people who tell the tales. The pilot DVD has been produced and included a film on the life of oral historian Katjira Muniombara.

This project addresses the intangible heritage that is memory, by recording oral testimonies and histories as they are told during the transference of knowledge in the shade of a tree or under the sky. By building this archive, Doxa productions seeks to explore ways to interact with the Himba people and for them to interact with this ‘generated local content’ that will be beneficial to them in the long run, as well as to provide an insight into a culture from a knowledge building point of view.

The project has also included the training in ICT of a member of the Himba community as well as research on the feasibility of setting up a multi-purpose ICT community center in one of the Himba villages, which would also be a base station for further mapping and recording the oral history of the land of Kaoko. In the future, the interviews will be processed into additional ‘Living Archive’ packages that will be accessible to the Himba themselves in their language (Herero) and to the rest of the world via the internet or on DVD. The centre and its ICT facilities will also provide information in areas such as education, political representation, HIV, cattle diseases and tourism.

“If Michael had not come to Ochikengo to write the story and the lineage of my cattle, I would maybe have forgotten it. History is very important and here there are many stories to be told. It would be very good if you could record these stories, and this way the younger generations will not forget them and they will be able to remember their ancestors”
Tako (Himba)

“The ICT center is a well from which a source of opportunities could spring, and which would, in particular, allow our children to have access to education”
Maongo Hembinda (Himba)

Project Document namibia_project_english_version.doc
Contact First Name Joëlle
Contact Last Name Chesselet
Contact E-mail iti00842@mweb.co.za
Associated Organization(s) Doxa Productions