Goethe Institut Johannesburg, South Africa
13th June - 16th August 2019
When Namibian communities rose up against German colonial rule in 1904-08, the Imperial forces responded with decrees of extermination. 80% of the OvaHerero and 50% of the Nama people were killed. Another decree encouraged the shooting of San people. Land was seized by the settlers. Under South African rule from 1920 to 1990, more land was taken, and apartheid laws were imposed.
29 years after Independence, land ownership has barely changed. 70% of private farmland belongs to ‘previously advantaged’ (white) Namibians, and 16% to ‘previously disadvantaged’ (black) Namibians. In 2018, the Second Land Conference addressed this.
Unearthing connects the loss of land and the current realities within Namibia caused by the unresolved resonances of its history. The concept of inter-generational trauma is converted to the land, that each grain of soil retains memory, trauma and stands as a witness to the past.
Curated by MADEYOULOOK
Opening talk photos by Masimba Sasa