PHOTO: © © Nin Solis

Inherited Testimonies

In the organizer's words:

The raid on the Witbooi Nama settlement ||Nâ‡gâs (also known as Hornkranz) in German South West Africa (present-day Namibia) in 1893 marked the beginning of a genocidal campaign by the German Schutztruppen against the Herero and Nama, which reached its climax between 1904 and 1908. Led by the Nama Traditional Leaders Association (NTLA) and the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA), this project aims to uncover the traces of the genocide that lie buried in the Namibian landscape, in the hearts of the affected communities whose environment, climate, surrounding vegetation and oral traditions have been transformed but are ever present.

Inherited Testimonies is a live performance of culturally transmitted collective testimonies conceived by Forensic Architecture/Forensis, performed by traditional leaders and oral historians in an immersive visual and audio environment of sequential architectural and environmental scenes.

The words of the witnesses are performed within and in relation to the space and activated by their relationship to the body and the screen. The testimonies are an act of collective construction of an environment, a form of "world building" and navigation within it.

The meaning of the landscape is gradually revealed as it becomes populated with structures, objects, indigenous plants and archival images. In contrast to the Western legal system, where testimony is an institutionally regulated and circumscribed act, the event offers a form of immersive, situated, oral, intergenerational testimony and inhabits a space of trauma that is diffuse, continuous, collective and cumulative.

This interaction is an attempt to reconstruct vanished sites of horror such as the Shark Island extermination camp and the Hornkranz massacre, and to revive a lost world shaped by colonial violence and the theft of Indigenous lands.

This content has been machine translated.


Haus der Kulturen der Welt | HKW John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10 10557 Berlin

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