25.10.2011 - UNESCO

Celebrating World Day for Audiovisual Heritage in Namibia

John Marshall Ju/’hoan Bushman Film and Video Collection, 1950-2000 - © Claire Ritchie

World Day for Audiovisual heritage will be celebrated in partnership with the Otjozondjupa Regional Council on 27 October 2011 in Tsumkwe, Namibia, by seeing, hearing and learning from the audiovisual heritage from the National Archives of Namibia.

The National Archives of Namibia holds a wealth of records, including audiovisual heritage items dating back from the German colonial administration in Namibia (1884-1915), through the South African administration (1915-1990), to independent Namibia (1990-). Community members from Tsumkwe will have an opportunity to see a selection of these records in a special mobile exhibition that has been put together within the framework of the Digital Namibian Archive Project. This project, implemented in cooperation with the Polytechnic of Namibia, the National Archives of Namibia, the Utah Valley University and UNESCO, seeks to preserve and give public access to some records of the National Archives of Namibia in digitized format.

The celebration of World Day for Audiovisual Heritage will also be an opportunity to showcase a selection of the John Marshall Ju/’hoan Bushman Film and Video Collection, 1950-2000, which has been inscribed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register.  The video collection focuses on the Ju/'hoansi cultural group of the Kalahari Desert, in northeastern Namibia close to Tsumkwe. Created over a span of 50 years, it is an unparalleled historical record of traditional life ways, but also of the transformation of life ways in the rapidly changing political and economic landscape that developed in concert with the struggle for Namibian independence. Dedicated screening sessions of the recordings will be shown to learners from the two schools in Tsumkwe.

Finally, the National Archives of Namibia will receive a selection of photos on “UN 20 years in Namibia”. The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) will hand over 15 photos on the UN role towards the independence of Namibia to a representative from the National Archives of Namibia. 

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage is celebrated every year on 27 October in order to raise general awareness of the need for urgent measures to be taken and to acknowledge the importance of audiovisual documents as an integral part of national identity.

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