Category Archives: Namibia

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.

Treasures from the German Colonial Library | African Studies Centre

Editor’s Note: This article is copied verbatim from the African Studies Centre (Leiden, NL) website. Some of the researchers at the ASC are involved in organizing digitized materials on African History and African Studies. This article gives hyperlinks to some of their efforts in organizing repositories

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Map of Africa (Die Erschliessung Afrikas durch Eisenbahnen)

The ASC Library started breathing new life into Connecting-Africa last December. This is a service that provides access to African research information produced worldwide and more than 100 publications are currently being added to it on a daily basis. One of the latest acquisitions is a series of digitalized books from the German Colonial Library.

Numerous societies that cared for German emigrants and spread colonial ideas were established in the second half of the 19th century. The Colonial Library houses the libraries of various colonial societies, in total approximately 15,000 monographs and a vast number of colonial journals. This formed the basis of Frankfurt University’s Africana Collection.

 

Sketch (Reise in Nordost-Africa)

Among the publications added to Connecting-Africa are a number of issues of the Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Zeitung, travel books (Reise in Nordost-Africa: 1859 – 1860 ; Skizzen nach der Natur gemalt), companions for emigrants (Kurzer und gründlicher Beschrieb, über die Kolonie in Afrika: zum Gebrauch der Auswanderer und Auswanderungslustigen), lectures (Die Erschliessung Afrikas durch Eisenbahnen : mit einer Karte von Afrika ; Vortrag) and much more.

Treasures from the German Colonial Library | African Studies Centre.

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