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Hidden confronts a colonial past

2021-03-01  Aletta Shikololo

Hidden confronts a colonial past
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Local choreographer Trixie Munyama and Cameroonian Christian Etongo present a multidisciplinary installation, ‘Hidden’, which aims to explore Namibia’s colonial past.

The installation, developed under ‘The Burden of Memory’ project Fund grant through the Goethe-Institut in Yaoundé, is also aimed at addressing and stimulating conversation regarding many aspects of Namibia’s colonial past that remains present and affects the daily lives of individuals but is hardly spoken or questioned about.

According to a press statement from the Goethe-Institut Namibia, ‘Hidden’ is held under the Burden of Memory project that facilitated the collaboration between creatives across the continent for them to confront the colonial past of their countries and produce an artistic installation. “The Burden of Memory project was launched in 2019 and aims to assist creatives in confronting their countries’ German colonial past in a multimedia installation, produced through a collaboration with another creative from one or more from Namibia, Togo, Tanzania, Germany, Burundi, Cameroon and Rwanda,” said Goethe-Institut press and communications officer Lendl Izaaks. ‘Hidden’ compares the shared history and repercussions still present today of a German colonial era in Namibia and Cameroon, a process that, according to choreographer Munyama, is important. “The title reminds us that there have been painful events in our history that we must look into and work towards restoring our dignity and that of the nations,” she said.

She further explained that through the incorporation of African traditions and rituals that existed before colonisation, hidden aims to uncover the true story without detours and enlighten the audience for them to experience a sense of purification from a contemporary perspective.

“The act of German colonisation is not fully addressed in Namibia and Cameroon because the apartheid and French tutelage are more recent, while we need to acknowledge the collective trauma and find methods of dealing with it,” said Munyama. Etongo describes arts and culture as significant, saying it can have power over political, social and even religious matters that need to be addressed for a post-colonial nation to understand its past and present before working towards a more inclusive future. The installation will be delivered at the Katutura Community Art Centre today at 19h00 and tomorrow at16h00.

2021-03-01  Aletta Shikololo

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