Help the world's oldest tribe go digital
Finished! Thank you everybody. Our campaign is now over. ×
£4,020 Raised
62% of £6.5k goal
49 contributors
0 days left
Ended Dec 29, 2014
N/haokxa, Kgao, /ui and #Oma are Ju/'hoansi, members of one of the oldest tribes in the world. For decades, outsiders have researched and filmed them. Now they want to turn it around, make their own films and carry their culture into the 21st century More ...

The ‘First People’ are conquering our Digital Age. CEDU is the grassroot organisation that's helping them do it.

The Ju/’hoansi San are ready to join the Digital Revolution and produce indigenous media. But we need your help to build a house where this can happen!

Sometimes, all a daring dream needs in order to turn into a reality is a physical space where it can happen. We need YOUR help to create a gateway through which the Ju/’hoansi can interact with the world on THEIR OWN terms, fight oppression, tell their stories, and find a place for their ancient culture in the modern world.

Yes, there is a lot of information here... Feel free to only read the sections you're interested in or only watch the videos that are interspersed ;)

put a face to it:

team members

N/haokxa (or Edith) from Tsumkwe, singer and building site manager. She rocks at editing subtitles.

/Ui (or Steve) from  N!homa, has worked as a translator for film crews many times. Now he is learning how to use a camera himself.

Kgao from Tsumkwe, the driving force behind the solutions to some of the obstacles we've had to overcome.

#Oma Tsamkgao (or Leon)from /Aocha, has worked with John Marshall who dedicated his life to making films of the Ju/'hoansi. Now that John has passed away, Leon wants to build on and go beyond what he has started

Aglaja (not from Tsumkwe), former film maker and currently phd researcher. She is supplying the provisional equipment and doing most of the administrative work.

the Story

The Ju/’hoansi of Nyae Nyae, Namibia – otherwise known as the Bushmen or San – are one of the oldest, if not the oldest ethnic group in the world. They have been the subjects of films, social research and touristic enterprises for over 50 years. During all of this, they have had to play different roles – from an ‘evolutionary link’ over ‘ancient hunter-gatherers’ to the ultimate ‘egalitarian society’.

They are probably the best known indigenous group in the world. Despite their fame, however – or possibly because of it – it is still the tourist and media industry who has the power to globally define who the Ju/’hoansi are and what opportunities they are given.

In our world defined by the media and the internet, the ability to produce and broadcast your own films, your own journalism, your own art – essentially your side of the story – is the key to self-determination and ownership of culture. This is a basic right any community should enjoy – regardless of whether it is a relatively young community or an ethnic group that can trace their existence back tens of thousands of years like the Ju/’hoansi.

The people in Nyae Nyae are at a significant point in their history. On the one side they have to battle the issues impoverished and socially marginalised communities have to face all over Africa (all over the world really). On the other hand, they have to watch their traditional skills and values slip away in the face of globalisation – all the while there are countless films and books out there praising the unique value of their indigenous knowledge

Now, what is CEDU?

CEDU is a grassroot project, which was started by several Ju/'hoansi people and phd research student. CEDU is offering the San the opportunity to learn how to produce and broadcast their own media. For the San to produce their own films is already a worthy cause in itself. However, CEDU is about more than that. It is about the indigenous people of the Kalahari acquiring the tools that we take for granted in the Western World: The power to design ones own public image through the internet, the ability to campaign for ones human rights on a platform that is accessible to the rest of the world, but also the self-esteem that comes with knowing that one’s side of the story is being seen and that it matters.

So how will your support help?

our site now versus our vision

We need to build a house! Why? Because editing videos or using computers outside in the Kalahari Desert is more or less impossible. Sand is the worst enemy of electronic equipment, shortly after the agonising heat. We need a place where equipment can be stored safely, where we can edit, where we can hold workshops. And also a place where the media we produce can be shown to the people, a place where our dreams can turn into reality...

 a physical place that belongs to the community and not an outside organisation, a place where people can locally exhibit their art, a place where Media can be produced, a place where training in Media Literacy can be given, a place where films can be screened, a place where the community can come together and exchange ideas. In short, it starts with a physical place that belongs to the Ju/’hoansi and that they can use to INVITE the world in on their own terms.

The establishing of this place is what we need your help with.

We have already fought and won the battle of getting a site in Tsumkwe approved. We designed the plans for the site, we have a local contractor ready to start building, we have laid and connected a water pipe. But in order to turn the site into a place that can help the community take charge of their relationship with the Media and tourism we need your help!

Local people are already shooting footage. Plans for Media Literacy training are already being designed. Relationships with aspiring artists are being forged. Ways to use the site to help empower tourism performers have been drafted. But in order to complete any of this, we need to put the necessary infrastructure on the site. Without a place where we can produce media, we can not continue.

So please take a moment to consider our pitch. Watch the videos, look at the plans for the site, scrutinise the budget and read through the list of potential benefits. Then you can decide for yourself whether the Ju/’hoansi are worth your support.

 

the House

The house will include:

A small room with a permanently installed editing machine. This room will be in the centre of the house where it is most protected from the sand and heat.

Office and equipment storage. An office is needed to coordinate different events and workshops to be held by the site and all other administrative such as online public work, maintenance of newsetters for supporters etc. The office will also be equipped with added security in order to protect the equipment stored in it.

There will be an outside area with ample space to host community events and a big screen to show films.

A Water tower. It's still the Kalahari Desert. Water towers are important. (You might not care too much about the water tower but we are all about full disclosure)

Possible extensions: outside toilet, an outside cooking area which can be used to cater for larger workshops or events and, most importantly......OUR OWN SATELLITE DISH. Getting our own internet would be the most amazing addition at all. However, creating the space is our number one priority.

work at the site(above: workers processing naturally sourced gravel at the site. Help us so we don't have to stop here ;) )

What do you get for your support?

on the right-hand side, you can see a list of perks...

Firstly, all of the perks come with access to the media we are producing (because that is really the point of what we are doing here). You will receive a username and password to access the CEDU site, and be able to access our media, as soon as our facilities are ready to go.

If you don't really want any of the perks, but would still like to donate, you can just choose the "wall of fame and subscription option" and donate however much you want to donate. Really anything between £4 (the price of a good beer in London) up to whatever you deem fit. However, if you donate say, £100 (about 5 rounds of beer) Your name will be 25 times bigger on the wall of fame than if you give £4. The wall of fame will be one side of the building which we dedicate to all our supporters. Of course you also get the monthly newsletter informing you about what's going on and what your money is being spent on.

Thank you note/ Certificate over what part of the house you helped build. This option is particularly nice if you want to donate on someone else's behalf (message us to make the thank you note out to someone else), maybe as a Christmas present? You get a personal thank you note, along with some information on CEDU and a certificate for whichever part of the building you financed, plus, of course, your place on the wall of fame and the newsletter. (of course, with this option as well you can donate however much you want)

The CEDU bracelet. With the bracelet, you also get the personal thank you note. By chosing this option you not only support CEDU, but also the local women who craft it. Also includes the wall of fame and newsletter.

Name a Baobab tree. Baobab trees can live for up to thousands of years. They are native to the Nyae Nyae region and are one of the most striking features of its landscapes. There are only few trees in the world that can get as big as baobab trees. Bychosing this option, you get to name one of the 5 seedlings we are planting on our site. You get a certificate for this and will also be included on the wall of fame and the newsletter.

Become an honorary Board member. Now, if you are really serious about supporting us, you can opt for our most expensive 'perk'. Becoming a member of the inside circle of CEDU basically means you will be kept up to date with any developments before we go public with them and, if you chose so, have the option to become a board member which means you will be part (via email or skype) of decision making processes and we will seek out your opinion. Also, you get to see any films even BEFORE they are published. Yes, it's a bit weird to buy yourself an honorary board member position but we assume that if you are willing to part with quite a chunk of money, you are excited about CEDU enough to have our best interest at heart.

We ship worldwide, but if you want to receive your shipment before Christmas, please order before the 5th of december. Otherwise we cannot make any guarantees....

Budget

 

Construction: 35 000 N$

Bricks: 15 000 N$

Roof: 10 000 N$

Poles: 1 000 N$

Cement: 5 000 N$

Sand: 5 000 N$

Gravel: 2 000 N$

Internet: 10 000 N$

Water tower:  15 000 N$

Total applied for ( including fundraising fees, and costs of campaign): 120 000 Dollars, equal to 6500 GBP

Things that are going on already

Here are some of the things already going on:

Whenever there is an opportunity or need we give computer and media training in whatever place is available.... however, we need our own place where this can happen in a more structured manner. Where we can set up permanently and hold computer classes

Steve, for example is already shooting a film about hunting. He is busy shooting it, and he has a real gift when it comes to framing shots.... but until we have a place where we can sit down and log and edit his material, we cannot finish the film.

We are collaborating with local musician Jackie in order to help him train more San kids to play instruments and encourage them to stay in school. Together with Jackie, Edith, a CEDU team member has writtren her own song and we are making a music video to go with it

We are also hosting some community events in order to get the people in tsumkwe together and raise awareness for our project. Sometimes this goes incredibly well, like with our flashmob, and sometimes there are difficulties. Check out our  facebook page for regular updates.

Benefits for the community

If you are still reading, great! This is where things become a tiny bit more academic, but bear with us (or just trust us that this is great and skip to the next section) :)

Reversal of exploitative relationship with film. The Nyae Nyae Conservancy has a longstanding relationship with film. Since the 1950s, when John Marshall and his family arrived, the San people of the area have been put on film. The films produced range from comedies like “The Gods must be crazy” to the political documentaries of the “A Kalahari Family” series by John Marshall and internationally screened documentaries like “The Incredible Human Journey” by the BBC. The area is visited by several film crews every year. N!homa village (due to its picturesque setting and certain beaurocratic advantages caused by it not being officially part of the conservancy) has been hosting anything between 3 and 7 film crews annually over the last decade. However, the people featured in the films rarely get to see the end product. Most film makers come to the area, shoot a film and then take it back out. The role of the San people is in most cases just to put on their traditional clothes, do as the producers tell them and receive a few dollar as pay whilst not knowing what happens to footage that has been taken of them. Of course, there are exceptions to this tendency. The Foster Brothers, for example with their film “The Great Dance”, have shown that it is possible to produce films which are created in collaboration with and not just exploitation of the people. However, thus far no media has been created by the people themselves.

The idea of CEDU is to reverse this relationship and turn the passive role the people here have found themselves in for the last 50 years into an active one.

Engagement with culture across generations. Various social Anthropological literature, chief amongst them Ginsburg and Turner[1] show that indigenous media can provide a bridge across cultural gaps between different generations that have been cause by colonisation, globalisation and socio-economic circumstances. Chief Tsamkxao T!oma particularly has stretched the benefit that a creative platform by and for San people would have on the young generation’s engagement with their own culture. We have, for example been approached by an artist who would like to utilise the CEDU in order to reahearse with his dance group

 

Media skills, internet, self-representation. In a world dominated by the internet and media based-communication, the skill to produce own pictures and film has become an important skill in terms of self-representationand fighting one’s own battles. In Tsumkwe this is of particular importance. While fast internet is not yet available, it will eventually come to Tsumkwe. High-Speed internet will without doubt have a significant impact on the area. With the training and media engagement provided by CEDU, it might be possible for high-speed internet to be used in a constructive way by the community in terms of advocacy and advertisement aimed at tourists (who are without doubt the most important cornerstone of the local economy). Note: Slow internet is already available. One aim of CEDU is to purchase a satellite dish in order to make uploads of films etc. possible.

Platform for exchanging ideas, film festival. There are currently two films in production by San people and many more ideas are on the table. Ideally, CEDU would like to eventually host an event at which those films will be screened alongside with films that have already been produced by outsiders in the area. Events like this – but also events on a much smaller scale such as the screening of one or two films which are related to the San – can be used as a platform to exchange and discuss ideas by the San about their future and how they would like to proactively shape it. Collaboration with San from other areas of Namibia and San from South Africa or Botswana who all face similar issues to the San in Tsumkwe could also be facilitated by the site.

More engaged tourism. The production of indigenous Media will contribute to more engaged and informed tourism. One idea is to invite tour companies and tour guides who often travel through the area to the afformentioned event. This would allow for a more open and engaged relationship between the tour companies and the community which would in turn contribute to tourists gaining a deeper and more engaged understanding of the area and thus a more satisfying and productive experience for both tourists and local tourism providers. The reason we consider this beneficial is that local tourism facilitators have mentioned that they feel there is too big a gap between their own understanding and knowledge of the communities history and the tour leaders who come here which contributes to a feeling of what both tourists and local facilitators have called “fake performances”: Note: This is based on social anthropological research in the area.

Improved collaboration of stake holders. One problem in the area is that while there are many organisations and projects available for the San people, very few people actually know how to utilise those opportunities because communication between stakeholders and between stakeholders and local people is lacking. One of the main aims of CEDU as a grassroot project is to establish and maintain good relationships with all the stake holders in the area. The local production of media is something all stakeholders could potential benefit from in the way of locally produced video and print material. Entrenching the design and production of visual and audio-visual material utilised by local stakeholders within the community will increase collaboration between different stakeholders through each projects/organisations collaboration with CEDU.

 

Who has been helping us?

While the main purpose of this site is to raise funds to continue the project, we would like to thank those who have made it possible for us to get where we are now

supporters on the ground

Still not convinced?

Have a look at this message from Adrian Strong. Adrian Strong has worked with John Marshall, who produced an unparalleled collection of video footage on the Ju/’hoansi which encompassed six decades and is now housed at the Smithsonian Museum. After John Marshall passed away, Adrian Strong directed “Bitter Roots”, a film depicting what has happened in Tsumkwe since John Marshall’s films.

Some films lie and some are true.  When Jamie Uys came, people were already wearing clothes but he undressed the people, he [made] them wear skins.  It does make me want to make films that are true.  Because if I make the films – me as a Ju/’hoan – all the people will believe.  Why should I stand up and lie to myself and say I am wearing skins?  I say I am not wearing skins.  I believe that if I make a film by myself, if I shoot it, I can show it to people and then they will believe. … It will show the Bushman people in a different light. --  

 

≠oma Leon Tsamkxao

 

The Ju/'hoansi of Nyae Nyae are one of the world's most studied, filmed, photographed, and written about people.  As one of the last groups to continue to live by hunting and gathering into the 20th Century, the Ju/’hoansi are some of the best-known !Kung San, or Bushmen, both in the academic world and in popular culture.  Throughout more than a century of media attention, the Ju/’hoansi have always been subjects, and have never had the opportunity to film, photograph, or write about themselves. In popular culture this fact has led to a portrayal of Ju/’hoansi, not as they see themselves but as a product of a Western imagination which clings on to the romantic myth that ‘bushmen’ people still live as hunter-gatherers in a pristine wilderness.  This has had a disempowering effect on Ju/’hoansi in particular who feel that their truth and the problems they face in a rapidly changing world are not being properly told. The CEDU project will change this in many ways including:

Final Words....

To finish with, here are some words from chief #Oma 

And here is some more information....

the CEDU facebook page

the CEDU website (a work in progress until we can train people from Nyae Nyae to build it themselves)

And some information on the work of John Marshall on the Documentary Educational Resources website

Thank you so much for your support!

If you have any questions, ideas how you could help us in ways other than monetary, or just want to say hi, feel free to contact us on info@cedumedia.org!

(in case you picked up on the two references, here are the details ;) )

GINSBURG, F. (1991). Indigenous Media: Faustian Contract or Global Village? Cultural Anthropology. 6, 92-112.

TURNER, T. (1992). Defiant images: the Kayapo appropriation of video. Anthropology Today. 8, 5-16.

 

Activity highlights See all 50
Follow this campaign to receive updates by email.

Perks

£1
Just be an awesome part of it
  • 1 claimed
We appreciate every donation, big or small. We know some people have more money to give and some are already struggling. With this donation you get 1000000 Karma points from us :)
More ... Less ...
£4
Wall of fame and newsletter
  • 8 claimed
You get your name on our "wall of fame" (an outside wall with all our contributor's names), you get a monthly newsletter about what we're up to and what your money is spent on PLUS access to the media we produce once'we're set up
More ... Less ...
£9
physical thank you note
  • 3 claimed
You get a physical thank you note made out to whoever you want to (Christmas gift?) with a certificate for whichever part of the building you sponsored. PLUS wall of fame, newsletter and access to our media
More ... Less ...
£13
ostrich egg shell & leather bracelet
  • 3 claimed
As authentic as it gets! leather with ostrich egg shell, some also with colourful beads. Let us know which style you would like and roughly what size.

By ordering this perk you support both CEDU and the local people crafting the bracelets.

This Perk also comes with a personal thank you note, the newsletter and your place on the wall of fame!

Great ethically sound present ;) If ordered before the 6th of december, it will be delivered before Christmas
More ... Less ...
£13
ostrich-egg/leather/wood bracelet
  • 5 claimed
ostrich egg shells, leather and wood. All organic, great mix of textures. Let us know which style you would like and roughly what size.

By ordering this perk you support both CEDU and the local people crafting the bracelets.

This Perk also comes with a personal thank you note, the newsletter and your place on the wall of fame!

Great ethically sound present ;) If ordered before the 6th of december, it will be delivered before Christmas
More ... Less ...
£15
CEDU bracelet - updated
  • 6 claimed
By claiming this perk, you not only support us, but also the local women crafting it. We can make the bracelet according to your size requirements and colour choices.

The style of the bracelet is the way in which the San make bracelets for themselves.

Additionally, you get a personal thank you note, a mention on the wall of fame, and the newsletter.

If this is not an ethically sound Christmas gift, we don't know what is. Guaranteed delivery before Christmas if ordered by the 5th of december!
More ... Less ...
£40
name a BAOBAB tree
  • 7 claimed
Baobab trees live for up to thousands of years. Nyae Nyae is there natural habitat. We are planting 5 baobab seedlings. Comes with a certificate and a picture of your seedling
More ... Less ...
£100
Honorary Board Member
  • 6 claimed
Become closely invovled with CEDU. Be kept in the loop about everything that happens and be involved in some of the decisions we make. PLUS your name on the wall of fame in BIG letters, newsletter and access to our media
More ... Less ...
£15
CEDU bracelet

People just like you

People just like you have raised $87+ million for causes they and their friends care about.

Start your own campaign
Recent contributions