SITES OF MEMORY, LANDSCAPE OF TRAUMA
Sites of memory and landscape of trauma are two video clips about the German colonial violence in Tanzania during the Majimaji War—a resistance against German colonisation that occurred between 1904-1908. The videos showcase a diverse understanding of colonial violence by the local communities, government, students and other heritage stakeholders including but also beyond textual, state and official archives. Filmed and directed by a human rights advocate—Mark Kaplan as part of a developing collaboration between Grey Matter Media and Historical Trauma and Transformation, the teasers are segments of a documentary in the making, a tele-technology and digitisation approach to the transgenerational memories of the Majimaji War.
Digitisation which is still in progress, started in February 2019 with a seed grant that was awarded to Nancy Rushohora from Witwatersrand Institute of Social and Economic Research, Africa Collaboration of the Stellenbosch University and the Mellon Foundation postdoctoral fellowship through the Chair in Historical Trauma and transformation. The film project is an endeavour to create long lasting database of the colonial memories recorded in situ and as a listening tool to voices of transgenerational memories that might have never been heard before.
There is a persistence of themes of resistance and reconciliation throughout and the complexities of narratives incorporating heroes/heroines, victims, beliefs, colonialism, trauma, landscape and architectural remains that makes the Majimaji documentary both timely and relevant. Voices of different professionals are also aired coming together to rethink about the ways in which an archive is understood and collectively participating in enhancing community owned methods of knowing and learning about the past.