29 July 2016
INVITATION TO THE 4TH ANNUAL KALAHARI DESERT FESTIVAL TO BE HELD FROM THE 23rd to the 25th September 2016
Kalahari Desert Festival is an annual forum for the celebration of Indigenous African culture and dissemination of knowledge in the Northern Cape, South Africa.
We would like to extend an invitation to Rene Bahloo of Weavery to present a talk/workshop at our academic venue titled ‘Weaving with natural fibres in Australia and Africa’ at the 2016 festival.
Please let us know if you will be able to attend.
Background and Objectives
The Kalahari Desert Festival (KDF) is run by the South African San Institute
(SASI), an independent NGO, which has been in existence for 17 years. SASI
stands as a support organisation to the !Xun, Khwe and ‡Khomani Communities
in South Africa.
The cultural heritage of indigenous people has become a global concern.
However, in Southern Africa, the descendants of the region’s ‘First People’, the
San or Bushmen, are among the most marginalised. While the Bushmen and
their descendants exist on the fringes of society, elbowed out by culturally
dominant groups, there is a profusion of academic work and stories being told about the First Nations. These stories and publications hardly ever make their way back to the people who are at the heart of it all. In some of the areas where SASI works, people are completely bereft of effective, modern communication.
A feasibility study conducted by SPACE (Smart Partnerships in Art and Cultural
Enterprises) lead to the idea of the KDF being adopted by SASI. The main
objective of the KDF is to uplift the Desert people, especially indigenous
communities and to create social cohesion. The annual festival will be hosted by SASI on the property of the the ‡Khomani San in the Southern Kalahari.
The product consists of a three-day desert festival held annually with main and side events programmed for the duration of the festival. The festival site is in the
Kalahari, in and around the //Uruke Kalahari Bush Camp established by the San
community on their community land.
The aim of the festival is to represent the convergence of Music, Art, Dance,
Craft, Custom, Culture and Heritage of Desert People and portraying the life
of Indigenous people. It thus celebrates the understanding and the diversity
represented by the life and environment of desert people across the continent. It
has the potential to facilitate and inform social, political and cultural discourse
on relevant issues such as desertification, globalization, poverty, etc. It also can
make an enormous contribution to the economic, infrastructural and
developmental elements in order to showcase the work of the San – linking all
the projects SASI is involved with, from the arts and craft and theatrical
production to song and dance as well as food.
The Kalahari Desert Festival is an annual event on the calendar of festivals
within the province of the Northern Cape, South Africa.