13 November 2017

Namibia: Nam Documentary in Finals of UK Film Awards

Windhoek — The 2016 Damara Traditional and Cultural Festival filmed by a United Kingdom-based research group and from which subsequently a 45-minute documentary was made was among the 150 films shortlisted for the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)'s 2017 Film Awards in the United Kingdom, of which the winners were announced last Thursday in London.

Rosa Namises attended the awards ceremony and represented the Damara and Namibia at the awards ceremony on Saturday, the same day the annual Damara festival was in full swing here in Namibia.

The documentary on Damara cultural rituals and practices has been shared at various cultural and traditional research platforms and seminars in the UK, resulting in the documentary being highly recommended for viewing around the globe. The outstanding and unique elements of the Damara cultural documentary are the rain dance ritual and ceremony.

One of the purposes of the Damara traditional and cultural festival is the remembrance of the ‡nūkhoe leaders, heroes and heroines. This highly sacred and important event also remembers the ancestors - most recent and now sleeping - as well as the current leadership. It also calls on the ancestors for their blessing for the ǂnūkhoen.

Tribute is paid to those sons and daughters who have made the cultural group proud and made great offerings towards Namibia's development, peace and stability.

The festival furthermore serves as an education and information platform on ǂnūkhoen tradition and cultural practices, rituals, eatery, songs, dance and arts.

Last but not least, as the history of the ǂnūkhoe people have been destroyed and distorted by colonizers and their then allies the event is a platform to bring the true history of the ‡nūkhoe people to the fore.

Arab-Jewish relations celebrated in a Haifa hair salon and the impact of a changing climate on the slums of Bangladesh are among the five winning films for this year's AHRC Research in Film Awards, which took place at BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly. Now in the third year, the awards are the only ones entirely dedicated to showcasing arts and humanities research through film.

The winning films across the five categories are all thought-provoking reflections on our time, based on arts and humanities research and are:

Pain in the Machine - Dr Beth Singler (University of Cambridge). Best Research Film of the Year

Shampoo Summit - Iris Zaki (Royal Holloway, University of London) Innovation Award

Whirlpool - Kate Baxter and Elizabeth Dixon (Five Fifty Five Productions)

Inspiration Award (public category)

Unearthing Elephant - Sarah Butler (Open University)

Doctoral Award

The Lived Experience of Climate Change: A Story of One Piece of Land in Dhaka - Dr Joanne Jordan (University of Manchester) and Ehsan Kabir (Green Ink)

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