“Changing History” exhibition tours Namibia

The cover of the Teachers’ Handbook shows Abraham Morris who had been employed as a scout during the South African invasion in 1914. Morris was killed in 1922 leading the Bondelswarts resistance to colonial rule.

The cover of the Teachers’ Handbook shows Abraham Morris who had been employed as a scout during the South African invasion in 1914. Morris was killed in 1922 leading the Bondelswarts resistance to colonial rule.

The Museums Association of Namibia (M.A.N), beginning of this month, signed a funding agreement with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany which will enable the organisation, which is responsible for regional museum development in Namibia, to take a travelling exhibition to four different venues.
The mobile educational exhibition is called `Changing History’ and describes the impact of the First World War on Namibian history. The research and design of the exhibition was originally funded by the British High Commission. The exhibition has already been shown in Khorab, Windhoek and Keetmanshoop.
It is now planned that the exhibition will be shown between June and September in four additional venues: Gobabis, Grootfontein, Ondangwa and Swakopmund. The new German funding will also allow for the printing of copies of a teachers’ handbook. Dr Jeremy Silvester, M.A.N’s Project Development Manager, explained that M.A.N will work with students from UNAM’s History Society who will act as `guides’ for the groups of school learners who will be invited to visit the exhibition at each venue. Dr Silvester says “MAN strongly believes in the value of museums as educational resources. It is important that young people realise the importance of Namibia’s history and heritage. Our perceptions of the past shape every decision that is made in our country. The students from UNAM are so enthusiastic that they really help to bring history alive. We will only be able to mount the exhibition for three days at each venue. So we really hope that local schools will make the most of the opportunity.”
Dr Silvester noted that school groups should, ideally, have no more than 20 learners. Every teacher visiting the exhibition with their learners will obtain a copy of the teachers’ handbook so that they can do follow-up activities. Each group will be able to take part in a short quiz with a mystery prize for the first learner to get all the questions correct. School teachers in Gobabis, Grootfontein, Ondangwa or in Swakopmund or Walvis Bay who would like to book a small guided tour can contact M.A.N on 061-302230.
While World War I raged on until 1918, in Namibia it had already ended on 9 July 1915 with the surrender of the German troops at Khorab, not even one year after Great Britain had declared war against Germany on 4 August 1914. Mr Ullrich Kinne, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the German Embassy, praised the way in which the exhibition had been compiled, encompassing stakeholders such as M.A.N and the History Society of the University of Namibia, with financial support by the British High Commission as well as the German Embassy. This bears testimony to the power of reconciliation which has taken place over the last 100 years, for which Germany is grateful.

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