Rina Sherman Writer | Écrivain

Home | Writing | Film&Vidéo | Photography | Multimédia | Ethnography | A propos | Contact | Links                                                            Return | Retour

  
  
Books | Articles | Curating | Conférence | Web Sites | Interviews | Catalogues

Books | Livres
  Fifty Key Anthropologists (Routledge Key Guides)
Robert J. Gordon (Editor), Harriet Lyons (Editor), Andrew Lyons (Editor)
  Rouch Fifty Key Anthropologists (Routledge Key Guides)
Robert J. Gordon (Editor), Harriet Lyons (Editor), Andrew Lyons (Editor)

"Jean Rouch"
by Rina Sherman
P. 199


 
  Ma vie avec les Ovahimba
Hugo & Cie, Paris, 2009
  i

Voir photographies
Ma vie avec les Ovahimba

De Rina Sherman et Pierre-Albert Ruquier


Le mot de l'éditeur :
Elle a un jour posé ses armes d'universitaire au sein de leur maison et son destin est désormais scellé au leur. Rina-Kandavi, son prénom Ovahimba, en a fait des films simples et beaux, et nous offre avec sept années de sa vie avec les Ovahimbas, ses difficultés, ses joies, ses peines, ses doutes, ses certitudes…

Le texte s'articule autour du voyage entre Windhoek, la capitale de la Namibie, et Etanga, soit huit cents kilomètres d'une route dangereuse qui est une quatre voie au sortir de la grande ville et une piste de terre à l'arrivée. Rina Sherman conduit son 4X4 seule et se souvient des sept années qu'elle a passées avec la famille Tjambiru. Une chronique de la vie du village d'Etanga où le chef est devenu son père, la jeune Kakaendona sa plus proche complice et le petit Kozondana comme son propre fils. On retrouve tous ces personnages et bien d'autres dans le récit.
Les rires, les pleurs, les escapades, les rituels, la beauté du soir qui tombe sur les collines du Kaokoland, les boeufs, l'alcool, la vie, la mort.

En voici les premières lignes :
C'est mon dernier voyage à Etanga. Je sais que la route sera longue comme à l'accoutumée. Je l'ai parcourue tant de fois ! Je vais rouler seule durant des heures. Plein nord. Direction le Kaokoland, aux confins de la Namibie et de l'Angola, là où personne ne va. La terre de quelques milliers d'Ovahimbas et leurs célèbres femmes peintes en rouge, exhibées sur les cartes postales et les prospectus des agences de voyage. C'est là que vivent ceux qui sont devenus les miens. J'ai huit cents kilomètres à avaler, de tronçons en étapes, parsemés de dangers et d'émerveillements.
Une aventure. Un défi. Ma vie.


RFI En sol majeur 1e Partie 2e Partie

France Info : Aventuriers, Chronique de Régis Picart

ELLEADORE.COM parle de Ma vie avec les les Ovahimba

Question de Femmes, juin 2009 - A la découverte des Ovahimba

Génération Femmes, Portrait de Rina Sherman - Il n'est jamais trop tard !

Sciences Humaines - Sept ans en Namibie par Xavier de la Vega

Die Burger, Die Geskenk van Liefde, Deel I van 'n onderhoud met Rina Sherman deur Eben Venter

Die Burger, Die Dubbele Slangkop, Deel II van 'n onderhoud met Rina Sherman deur Eben Venter

Book Review - Seven Years in Namibia

My Life with the Ovahimba

Rina Sherman, with Pierre-Albert Ruquier

If one had to find a cinematic equivalent to My life with the Ovahimba, it would be a "making of", the narrative of the more or less epic adventures of a film shoot. The comparison works all the better since the author is a filmmaker. In this case of the rare species of documentary-ethnologists that feed their works long stays with the people they intend to film. When Rina Sherman left to settle with the Ovahimba livestock farmers in Namibia, she intended to follow in the footsteps of Jean Rouch. She had been a pupil and assistant to the author of The Crazy Masters (Les maîtres fous, 1956), and now wanted to explore her own field of study. She however did not imagine that she would live among the Ovahimba for seven years.
Seven years during which she forged extremely close links with the family of Chief of the Etanga community in Namibia. "Kakaendona is my sister. She says that our spirits are exchanged. She is from the Tjambiru lineage, the youngest daughter of the Headman of Etanga, in other words, a child of the lineage of eight generations of chiefs. With her, we committed the ‘400 coups’. We laughed, danced, drank and talked". Soon R Sherman called the head of Etanga ‘father,’ a title that, far from being merely honorary, reflects mutual affection and respect. "One morning, we decided to climb the oHere hill behind the house. My father, this thin man of noble bearing, a heavy drinker, led the way setting a rapid pace. (...) He looked at me, and then let his gaze sweep over the panorama. No doubt in it he saw different things than me. (...) He saw a distant pasture, water sources, a well, the right to access inherited at birth, the road leading to it, his house as well. The entire difference between the outlook of my father on this landscape and mine was present. I was imagining a painting, he was reflecting on his life."

If over time, R. Sherman shares a real bond with ‘her’ family, she encounters the thousand pitfalls of social and cultural differences. The filmmaker has come to work, gather information, film daily life and, if possible, the possession rituals of the Ovahimba. They inevitably consider her to be ‘an opportunity of wealth.’ She refused to lend her car all the time, confronting the common sense of her hosts. She even makes real blunders. For this nation of farmers, the only wealth is cattle. Everything else is shared. How can this white person refuse to give water to passersby? some reproach her. Can they not understand that she cannot devote all her time to fetch water? she complains. Conflicts sometimes resulted in irreversible crisis. After three years, R. Sherman gave up his permanent camp at Etanga – inadvertently set up on sacred land...
A good friend and affectionate, the filmmaker is no less proud, irritable and prone to bouts of anger. This redhead probably draws in her excess energy, that also made her hold out in Ovahimba country. A happy propensity for transgression, she has too. One day, the dignitaries gathered for days to distribute the stock of a deceased person, she goes up to them to demand meat, reserved for men on the occasion of this ritual. The filmmaker, does she not work like a man too? Defying the boundaries between genres, this descendant of the Afrikaners (R Sherman is South African born) also crosses blithely those between whites and blacks, like when inviting the head of Etanga and his wife into a hotel reserved for white tourists, much to the embarrassment of the management. After reading a somewhat disjointed narrative, R Sherman and Pierre-Albert Ruquier leave an impression of a genuine adventure and real insight into the life of an unknown people.

XAVIER DE LA VEGA
Sciences Humaines August/ September OJD: 35149
  Le huitième mort de Tibhirine
Editions Tatamis, Paris, 2007 | Editions Lazhari Labter & Le Soir d'Algérie, 2007 ( Français - 2007 & Arabe - 2009)
  RinaSherman
Le huitième mort de Tibhirine

Préface d'Antoine Sfeir

Devant ce travail colossal, minutieux, on ne peut que s’incliner…

4e de couverture
Victime d’une campagne calomnieuse sans précédent, en février 2004, le grand reporter Didier Contant fait une chute mortelle d’un immeuble parisien alors qu’il s’apprêtait à publier son enquête sur la mort des moines de Tibhirine en Algérie en 1996. Les résultats d’un long travail d’investigation sur le terrain à Blida par l’ancien rédacteur en chef de l’agence Gamma confirment que les moines ont été enlevés et assassinés par le GIA (Groupe Islamiste Armé).
Mais à Paris, des confrères affirment auprès des rédactions parisiennes que Didier Contant travaillait pour les services français et algériens dans le cadre de son enquête sur les moines, déconseillant toute publication de son investigation. Ces lobbies, composés de journalistes, d’éditeurs, d’avocats et d’organisations de droits de l’homme, brandissent le témoignage d’un sous-officier transfuge de l’armée algérienne, tendant à prouver l’implication de l’armée dans le rapt des moines. Didier Contant vivait cette campagne calomnieuse comme une catastrophe professionnelle ; dépossédé de son honneur, de sa dignité et de la capacité de gagner sa vie, il ne put l’accepter.
Rina Sherman livre un témoignage saisissant sur la mort de son compagnon, Didier Contant. Pour rendre hommage à l’homme qu’elle a aimé, elle raconte avec brio leur grande histoire d’amour et la tragédie qu’ils ont vécues. Son récit se lit comme un roman, comme un thriller, dans lequel suspense, investigation et combat se confondent dans une réflexion essentielle : Il ne faut pas se taire afin que soit respecté l’un des droits fondamentaux de l’homme, celui de la liberté d’expression.


Tibhirine

Sortie de la traduction Arabe du livre Le huitième mort de Tibhirine

Die Burger, Die Geskenk van Liefde, Deel I van 'n onderhoud met Rina Sherman

Die Burger, Die Dubbele Slangkop, Deel II van 'n onderhoud met Rina Sherman
Press release of the book « Le huitième mort de Tibhirine » by Rina Sherman.

A riveting account of Sherman's counter-investigation into the circumstances of the death of French Grand Reporter Didier Contant who fell to his death whilst investigating the assassination of the monks of Tibhirine.

Le huitième mort de Tibhirine The Eighth Death of Tibhirine

Rina Sherman Foreword by Antoine Sfeir Director of the Cahiers de l’Orient

In response to this exhaustive and meticulous work, one can only bow down » Press Release, 26 February 2007 15 February 2004. Didier Contant, independent journalist, is victim of a mortal fall from the balcony of a Parisian building. The police hastily announces a suicide. However, many questions remain unanswered. At the time of his death, co-journalists, determined to undermine his most recent investigation into the kidnapping and assassination of the Tibhirine monks in 1995, harassed the former editor in chief of Gamma. They accused him of working for the French and Algerian secret services and discredited him with the magazine that could have published his story. His honour and reputation profoundly damaged, Didier Contant could not tolerate the slander and died under mysterious circumstances. Only one journalist dared to evoke the responsibility of the co-journalists from Canal+ in his death: Jean-François Kahn in the weekly magazine, Marianne. At first condemned for slander, Kahn has just won his appeal case which established a direct link between the doings of the Canal + journalists and the death of Didier Contant. In « Le huitième mort de Tibhirine », Contant’s companion exposes the irresponsible and abject behaviour of those who wanted to silence Didier Contant and who succeeded beyond what they may have imagined. A poignant story about the cry of a woman who refuses to accept the official version, who fights both for the truth and the memory of the man she loved.

Three questions
to Rina Sherman, author of the book « Le Huitième Mort de Tibhirine »:

Why did you write this book?
As a response to an ethic, which consists of respecting, the identity and dignity of the other, whoever he is, respect that understands freedom of expression and the right to justice as a fundamental human right.

Are you not afraid that your book may be perceived as a form of revenge?
A man died. The police did not want to investigate seriously. The judiciary did not want to pursuit the investigation. The journalists did not want to talk. The lawyers protected their colleagues. Everyone has the right to know the truth and to demand that justice be done. The story that you tell is overwhelming.

Surely you needed great courage to write it?
To not lose your sense of self, or have reason give way, requires the ability to face yourself under all circumstances; that does not require courage, it is the essence of the human spirit.
 
   Uitreis
Leaving | En partance - Debut Novel, Human | Rousseau, Cape Town, 1997
  i
Uitreis

Debuut Roman

Uitreis
is 'n boeiende toevoeging tot die "ballingskap"-literatuur in Afrikaans, 'n verslag van 'n reis uit Suid-Afrika, maar ook 'n reis deur die herinnering, en, uiteindelik, die verhaal van 'n individu se soeke na die liefde.

Gramadoelas
Over Zuid-Afrikaanse literatuur
door Luc Renders


"Ook Uitreis van Rina Sherman en het drama Die jogger van André Brink kunnen als belijdenisliteratuur getypeerd worden. In beide teksten worden apartheid en persoonlijke geschiedenis onontwarbaar met elkaar verstrengeld. In Uitreis keert Tilda Kaufman, een bannelinge woonachtig in Parijs, naar huis terug om de begrafenis van haar vader bij te wonen. Onvermijdelijk volgt een terugblik op haar jeugdjaren die door een autoritaire en liefdeloze vaderfiguur werden gedomineerd.

Ondanks de verzuurde relatie en de uitgeproken politieke meningsverschillen blijven Tilda's gevoelens tussen liefde en haat oscilleren en komt het nooit tot een volledige breuk. Toch heeft haar vader permanent haar vermogen tot liefde gesmoord. Tilda's leven bestaat uit een opeenvolging van afscheiden: van haar jeugd, haar ouders, Zuid-Afrika, haar minnaars. Uitreis is een waardevolle toevoeging tot de Zuid-Afrikaanse diaspora literatuur."

Die Burger, Die Geskenk van Liefde, Deel I van 'n onderhoud met Rina Sherman

Die Burger, Die Dubbele Slangkop, Deel II van 'n onderhoud met Rina Sherman

The diaspora in recent Afrikaans literature

Paper delivered at the University of Zimbabwe,
Harare, August 1999


1. The diaspora of the Afrikaner tribe Rina Sherman's Uitreis tells the story of a young actress Tilda Kaufman, an exile who lives in Paris. Her return visit at the occasion of her father's death is a searching visit to south Africa and her own past. Once again politics and personal affairs become inextricably intertwined. Her youth was spoiled by an authoritarian and loveless father, by a mother who was very submissive and a brother who could not contain his bouts of anger. Her parents and brother are very conservative and supporters of the policies of the National Party. Her father is even a member of the Broederbond, the notorious secret organisation, promoting the interests of an inner circle of Afrikaners. Tilda herself is a rebel, wanting to break loose from the straitjacket of Afrikaner nationalism. She becomes a actress, joins a black theatre group and has a relationship with a fellow black actor, Sidi. In Paris too she has an affair with a black person, which does not come to fruition either. She has an abortion and goes to live on her own once again.

South African society is protrayed as extremely racist and patriarchical, its religious bigotry, their selfdestructiveness (128). Tilda revolts against all aspects of it. She rejects everything her parents stand for. In the end she cannot cope with, that is why she leaves the country: "Eendag het Tilda uit haar lewe geloop. Omdat Pa haar nie liefgehad het nie. Omdat Paul haar geslaan het. Omdat sy skaam was vir haar land, haar mense en haarself. Om liefde te soek." (21). On the plane out she muses, on an echo of Huismans characters: "Ek wou nog altyd uit my lewe padgee. Hier is die oomblik nou. Ek kom nie terug nie. Ek het genoeg gehad!" (178).

The life of an exile is also vividly portrayed. It is dominated by loneliness: In this way exile becomes a metaphor for life itself. That too is a fruitless search for fulfilment: "Ja, hoe, 'n mens jou ook al met ander omring, jy is altyd alleen. Die res, samesyn, is dromery." (212) en "Ja, verlore in my enkeldheid. Niks bly vir my meer staande nie. Al wat my kan red, is om my sin vir humor te behou." (215). Besides this element on her return home she voices critical opinions about the white government which result in her being cast into the role of an outsider: "Inderdaad, my kind, jy is nie meer een van ons nie." (70) Indeed France has become her country. She does not know the customs anymore (73): "Jy verstaan niks meer wat hier aangaan nie." (86).

Despite this soured relationship and the outspoken political differences Tilda's feelings keep on oscillating between love and hate with the result that it never comes to a final break. Nevertheless, her father has permanently damaged her capacity to love. The life of Tilda is a permanent departure: from her youth, her parents, her lovers, South Africa. She has to distance herself from her parents and her country in order to gain her freedom. She returns to France because it is where her future lies and this despite the fact that South Africa has freed Nelson Mandela (80). Uitreis is a very moving novel in which the themes of exile and the complicated relationship with the mother country and all it entails are sharply brought into focus. It is a raw book, scarcely hiding its biographical origins.
    Coming Soon…
  Tales from the Ongumbati
  i
Tales from the Ongumbati: Early Years with the Ovahimba

A collection of sixteen short essays based on my first years of fieldwork with the Ovahimba of Namibia and Angola.

The Tales explore the human adventure of an ethnographer settling with a family of African tribesmen and women, the encounter with the Ovahimba, an extraordinary people, who observe ancestral traditions and possess a vast and complex thought system. As intimate accounts based on real life characters, writing the Tales was a means of coming to grips with the foreignness of the world in which I lived. They explore the development of my relationship as fieldworker with the Headman of Etanga and his extended family and relations.

 
 
  
Home | Writing | Film&Vidéo | Photography | Multimédia | Ethnography | About | Contact | Links | Legal Information   Designed and maintained by Rina Sherman©