Category Archives: Apartheid

Photo exhibition Frits Eisenloeffel | IISH

The Dutch journalist Frits Eisenloeffel (1944-2001) captured the decolonization, liberation struggle and rebuilding process of various African nations during his travels on the African continent in the 1970s. Eisenloeffel was a committed journalist. In his eyes, journalism and engagement went very well together.

Frits Eisenloeffel started his travels in the Portuguese colonies of Guinea-Bissau, Cabo Verde and Mozambique. In 1975 he followed the future president Samora Machel of Mozambique on his tour through the country to prepare for the official transfer of power. In 1978 he visited Namibia to report on the elections. On he went to Zaïre and Senegal. In the 1980’s Eisenloeffel was very much captivated by the spirit of the Eritrean Liberation Front. He was the first journalist to report on the use of nerve gas by the Ethiopian army.
From 1983 to 1985 he worked extensively in Eritrea and the border area with Sudan, partly as a reporter and partly on a fact-finding mission in assignment of Dutch aid organizations.

The vast journalistic inheritance of Frits Eisenloeffel, including 20.000 slides now rests at the IISH. Out of these twenty thousand pictures, over three thousand are high-resolution digitized and described by Ben Krewinkel. Ben Krewinkel is a photographer and he studied Modern African History.  A selection of his photographs taken on the African continent is presented here.

Read more on Frits Eisenloeffel

Read more on Frits Eisenloeffels African travels

Copyright of the photographs rests with Immeke Sixma.

Photo exhibition Frits Eisenloeffel | IISH.

Is South African uranium the biggest threat to world peace?

South Africa’s nuclear munificence is stockpiled in the Pelindaba Nuclear Research Centre, just west of Pretoria. Within a secure vault smoulders almost a quarter of a tonne of highly enriched uranium, enough to make about ten cities go boom. Using diplomacy by other means—AKA an expose by an outfit called the Centre of Public Integrity, published in the Washington Post—the Americans have announced that they believe Pelindaba to be one of the world’s great security threats. How afraid should we be? RICHARD POPLAK dons a nuclear protection radiation suit and wades in.

Click here to read full text in the Daily Maverick

 

Heritage Virgins Come of Age

BY MONDLI MAKHANYA

We set out to celebrate, commemorate and mark key news figures and moments, writes Sunday Times editor MONDLI MAKHANYA, but it was only a billion meetings later that we realised how much these memorials meant to how many people.

Earlier this year a colleague and I headed down to the Eastern Cape for a “summit” with stakeholders in our Eastern Cape heritage project. These included family members, community representatives, government officials and church elders. We spent half a day in a meeting that definitely ranks as one of my most memorable experiences of 2007.

Click here to read on.

The Nordic Documentation on the Liberation Struggle in Southern Africa Project

Editor’s Note: This site provides access to a number of archives in Finland, Norway, Sweden, as well as some Danish and Icelandic sources. Most of them are only finding aids, but there was some digitization work done on the Finnish sources. This was an effort led by the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala.

 

The Nordic Documentation on the Liberation Struggle in Southern Africa Project

This historical site is a reference source for everyone interested in the late 20th century history of national liberation in Southern Africa and the role of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden).

The site provides finding aids of primary source materials that can be found at the different Nordic archival institutions, NGOs and archives of individuals who have been involved in the liberation struggles in Southern Africa. (See map of countries covered.) The available materials are mainly in the Nordic languages, but where possible, English is indicated. The website holdings include interviews with important actors, photographs, publications and posters and pins from 1960-1996. The finding aids are meant to facilitate information search on the Nordic countries’ involvement in the liberation struggles and directs the information seekers to where the information can be found. It also makes available some archival materials in a pdf-format for downloading.

 

About the Nordic documentation on the liberation struggle in Southern Africa.

The project started in 2003 and was completed in 2009.

The Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala, Sweden, has for a number of years played an important role in documenting the Nordic involvement in the National Liberation Struggle in Southern Africa. In the present process of state building in Southern Africa, there is a search for history and its role in forming and reforming national consciousness. In this respect, it has become evident that the background materials that have been collected in the Nordic countries have an important role to play in filling the gaps that might exist in the search for a new “liberation history”.

In 2003 the Nordic Africa Institute initiated a project to identify archives in the Nordic countries, that cover documentation on anti-apartheid resistance and the liberation struggle in Southern Africa, mainly South Africa and Namibia, during 1960-1990. (Other countries are covered, see the information box in the right hand column.) Around this time, a large number of organisations in the Nordic countries e.g. government bodies, youth and church organisations, political parties and solidarity groups participated in the struggle. As a result, vast bilateral cooperation emerged and many well documented conferences and meetings were held in the Nordic countries and in Africa. Several visits to refugee camps in Africa and encounters with different leaders were also documented on videos, tapes and in pictures. Another result was this website that works as an reference source. It was launched on 24 April 2007. (More about the website.)

Organisations in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden have localized, catalogued and organized archives on the liberation struggle. The archival lists are available in a database, found on this website, that has been created to make the materials known and easily accessible for researchers, students and others who are interested in this part of the world history.

The project was concluded in November 2009 with a workshop held in Pretoria, South Africa.

 

http://www.liberationafrica.se/

Digitizing the Namibian Archive

Editor’s note: A collaboration between the Polytechnic of  Namibia, The National Archives of Namibia, Brigham Young University, and Utah Valley University have been engaging in digitizing parts of the National Archives of Namibia in Windhoek. Starting in 2004 and continuing to the present, tens of thousands of photos, documents and film have been digitized by the NAN. Though there is not a large, formal website for external researchers, the archives have a well organized intranet where the digital items can be accessed. Some of the photos from the Cocky Hahn collection (and a few other small ones) have been uploaded to the Polytechnic website for exhibition. See article below & the external links.

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The Digital Namibia Archives Project: A 5-year Collaboration Growing Out of a Fulbright Grant

Dr. Allen Palmer
Brigham Young University
Namibia, 2004

In 2004, I received a Fulbright Scholar grant to Namibia for lecturing in journalism at Polytechnic of Namibia in the capital city Windhoek. I was a professor of communication at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. My wife, Dr. Loretta Palmer, who is a professor at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah accompanied me.

When my wife and I were in Namibia, she volunteered her services at the university while I lectured. She taught computer classes and worked as an instructional designer in the college’s distance education program.

In discussions with the Namibian college leaders, including the Rector, Dr. Tjama Tjivikua, we decided one area in which we could assist Polytechnic, in addition to the scheduled classes we were teaching, was the development of a USA-Namibia partnership to help train their staff in digitizing African cultural artifacts for their new library. Many of the African artifacts were neglected and at risk of being lost or destroyed, including old photographs, music recordings, documents, etc.

What resulted was a project that has lasted more than five years, from 2007 to 2012, and involved 35 to 40 American college teachers and students traveling to Namibia to participate in training for what was became called the “DNA Project”–the Digital Namibia Archives Project–that began in earnest in 2007. A link to the DNA Project is now featured on the Polytechnic’s main internet page: http://www.polytechnic.edu.na.

Each summer a team of six to eight college faculty and students from Utah Valley University’s Multi-media Communication Program traveled to Namibia. They assisted  with training college students and staff at Polytechnic of Namibia, and the staff at Namibian National Archives, how to digitize and preserve historic cultural records. Also assisting in organizing the program was Professor Steve Harper at Utah Valley University.

During the ensuing years after my Fulbright, my wife and I have returned to Namibia several times to support project planning. In addition, the rector, Dr. Tjivikua, has traveled to the U.S. twice to confer with us on project development. In addition to the benefits in Namibia, the students from Utah Valley University benefited from the project in their education program.

A brief overview of the DNA  project is posted on a Youtube video by a student participant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ats8jAypl0

Numerous archive photographs and documents showing the history of Namibia are posted to public at the link on the main DNA Project web page: http://dna.polytechnic.edu.na/collections.html

The 5-year plan for the DNA project recently ended and it was a remarkable example of a successful collaboration between a Fulbright host college and an American university that began with the Fulbright Scholar Program.

DNA Agreement Signed

– See more at: http://www.cies.org/article/digital-namibia-archives-project-5-year-collaboration-growing-out-fulbright-grant#sthash.yrv7Se0g.dpuf

For a link to the Polytechnic photo exhibition, see below:

http://dna.polytechnic.edu.na/collections.html

Xolela Mangcu, “Biko: A Life” (Tauris, 2013)

[From “New Books in African Studies”] Host Jonathan Judaken speaks with Xolela Mangcu, biographer of Anti-Apartheid leader Steve Biko, about the life and murder of Steve Biko, as well as the struggle for equality in South Africa under Apartheid rule, and how it relates to the Civil Rights Movement in America. – – – – Click Here for full podcast.

 

Xolela Mangcu, “Biko: A Life” (Tauris, 2013).

Episode 88: Digital African Studies with Keith Breckenridge

biometric_stateKeith Breckenridge (WISER) on the current state of digital Southern African Studies; the politics, funding, and ethics of international partnerships in digital projects; and his new book Biometric State: The Global Politics of Identification and Surveillance in South Africa, 1850 to the Present.

Part I of a series on digital African studies.

 

Source: Episode 88: Digital African Studies with Keith Breckenridge