In Namibia

The world’s largest national park, Etosha, was created in 1905 by the German colonial government of Southwest Africa.

Many peoples, including cattle herding pastoralists and hunter-gatherer San, occupied the lands that became the park. In the early 1950s, the government, in line with the apartheid regime in South Africa, decreed that all San must leave the park and gave them three months to move out of their ancestral homelands.

Etosha WomenSince then virtually all San families have lived as squatters at the edges of roads or as migrant labourers on nearby farms.

Open Channels worked with the Hai//om San to document the history of their displacement from the Etosha Park, tracing features of the landscape that had once been part of their lives. The research led to the creation of maps, posters and other documentation that describe San identity and heritage, and helped establish their right to share the benefits of the park.



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