Press Release May 2002
The Ovahimba Years Work in Progress Exhibition is due to open at The Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre on the 11th of June 2002. Whilst the exhibition represents various dimensions of a yet to be completed undertaking, it is the first comprehensive exhibit of the The Ovahimba Years. The Project is a long term, multi-disciplinary research programme of which the principal objective is to create a comprehensive record of Ovahimba cultural heritage as observed in Etanga and its outlying areas. Members of the Project research team have been actively working with members of this community for the past five years.
The Ovahimba Years Work in Progress is presented in the form of multi-facetted window onto the universe of the Ovahimba. The guiding principle is a series of soundscapes; ambience and ritual sounds drawn from everyday and ceremonial life. Photographs, drawings, and cultural objects displayed within and around the soundscapes provide moments of perception of the universe of the Ovahimba. Unedited texts are presented in an informal reading nook and unedited video images are screened continuously in an adjacent room. Films from The Ovahimba Years Collection as well as films by other anthropologists are screened during the run of the exhibition.
During the first week of the exhibition, a group of young people from Etanga are present at the exhibition; to represent their culture and to further punctuate the activities with ondjongo playing dance performances. Conferences given by specialists of Ovahimba cultural heritage will provide in-depth information on topics like The Holy Fire, Systems of Inheritance, and the premises of field research.
The aim of the exhibition is to provide the public with 'a slice of life' of Ovahimba culture as recorded in Etanga and its outlying areas by The Ovahimba Years research team. Through the various soundscapes, displays and activities, the Exhibition provides both a broad and in-depth view. It makes provision for a wide spectrum of the public, from school children to specialists of cultural heritage studies.