Usakos Museum and the Re-vision of Colonial Spaces in a Small Town in Namibia – Ms Yvette Hoebes & Florence /Khaxas (Usakos Museum Advisory Committee)

Grant: Usakos Museum and Monument, Florence 'Khaxas and Yvette Hoebes

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This grant will go towards research in Usakos, a small town in Namibia, and its neighbouring farms, collecting stories, photographs and objects – 'traces' of the generation that lived in the Old Location in Usakos and the memories of their descendants. The project is intended to re-vision colonial spaces in Usakos and the forced removals of the 'old locations' to new townships during the early 1960s. The material collected will be used in the development of an exhibition for the Usakos Museum, that is currently under development in an old colonial building, as well as a memorial on the site of the vacant space where the old location once stood. This memorial is to be produced from rubble reclaimed from the sites of the forced removals by affiliated artists and which is under threat from new developments. The objects and photographs that are collected will be pointers to the cultural exchange, music, fashion and experience of women in this colonially defined space. This memorialisation is intended to displace the memories of destruction and demoralisation with a vision of hope. The research hopes to answer the following questions: Who were the people who lived in the location? What was their livelihood? E.g.: work, food, school, etc.; What was their lifestyle? Arts, music, fashion, culture, tradition, religion etc.; How did they construct their homes?; What were the advantages and disadvantages of forced removal for the people? and Where are they now?

The Researchers:

Florence /Khaxas is a feminist writer and story teller, women rights defender, she is the Executive Director of the women rights organisation called the Y-Fem Namibian Trust. She is a cultural activist and founder also of the Damara dresses, a movement of fashion heritage of the Damara people in Namibia. She serves as a member of the Usakos Museum Council.

Yvette Hoebes is a Tourism graduate and a self-taught abstract and mixed media expressionist (Artist). Born and raised in Usakos. She is an activist and member in the Usakos Museum Council.

The shells of a few buildings still stand in the 'Old Location'
An aerial photograph from the 1950s shows the Old Location as an inhabited space before the forced removals.
The foundations of one of the buildings that was removed from the Old Location.

Railway Museum of Mozambique

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Colonial Landscape Panels:

Tropical bungalow: a site of rehabilitation

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