July 31, 2009 | By Kate Hennessy |
Documentary Educational Resources, in conjunction with The Human Studies Film Archives, Smithsonian Institution is pleased to announce that the John Marshall Ju/’hoan Bushman Film and Video Collection, 1950-2000 has been recognized for its exceptional value as part of world documentary heritage and has been added to UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register.
The John Marshall Ju/’hoan Bushman Film and Video Collection, held at the Smithsonian Institution’s Human Studies Film Archives, is one of the seminal visual anthropology projects of the 20th century providing a unique example of sustained audiovisual documentation of one cultural group, the Ju/’hoansi, of the Kalahari Desert in northeastern Namibia, over half a century. It is an unparalleled historical record not only of an indigenous people’s traditional way of life and ties to the land but of the transformation of their life in the rapidly changing political and economic landscape that developed in concert with the struggle for Namibian independence. The collection is only the fourth documentary property held in a United States archive or library to be added to the Memory of the World Register.