Sustainabilities and Cultural Landscapes in West Namibia
Chris Low, Research Fellow (Anthropology)
In 2005 I resolved to give up my career as an osteopath and to head off in search of more intellectually stimulating challenges. There is now an inescapable irony that through the Future Pasts project and my other work involving the Khoekhoe and San of southern Africa, I find myself increasingly pleading recognition for ways of knowing and doing that are embedded in our bodies and not in our heads.
Over the last 16 years I have focussed on researching healing among the Khoekhoe and San and in recent years this has increasingly drawn me to the relationships of people to the environment and of feeling to ontology, knowledge and performance.
My current focus for Future Pasts is on stories and time in the Nambian landscape, with a keen eye on a character, Haiseb, that some ethnographers think of as a trickster. Whilst at first glance this may seem somewhat removed from healing, it is the role of landscape relations and meaning that places Haiseb in very familiar territory. This work also coordinates well with my wider role as head curator for a new museum being built with the San at !Khwa ttu, San Education and Training Centre in South Africa.