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My Story, Your Story, Our Story. A History Project in Namibia

Gisela Fasse (ed.): My Story; Your Story; Our Story. A History Project in Namibia at Deutsche Höhere Privatschule (DHPS) Windhoek 2005/2005, Klaus Hess Publishers Windhoek, Göttingen, ISBN Namibia: 99916-57-20-7 / ISBN Germany 3-933117-34-8

Namibia's history was characterised by colonisation and apartheid during the years 1884 to 1990.

The Deutsche Höhere Privatschule DHPS at Windhoek was founded during the time of German colonial rule in Namibia. Today, young students from different cultural backgrounds and ethnic groups come together at the DHPS. However, for reasons such as tuition in different languages they still stay apart very often. In 2004 students of the school participated in the commemoration ceremonies at Ohamakari, where the brutal battle of the German colonial troops against the Herero had taken place in 1904, and which ended in genocide.

“I could feel that I am part of history!” said one pupil after that experience of participating in the 2004 commemoration. Until then the Namibian history had formed only a small part in their school textbooks and in history lessons.

Starting from their studies of a History Club, many questions arose among the participants. Their interest to learn more about their country's history revealed the need to get to know about the history of "the others". The project, initiated and facilitated by the history teacher and author of the book, Gisela Fasse, enabled the pupils to explore and tell their own family history and to listen to the others' stories. The work of one year culminated in the presentation of an exhibition of the students’ works: texts, poems, pictures, stories. This book presents impressive examples of them. Moreover it documents the eagerness and fun the pupils had in this project as well as an increasing awareness of history. It also demonstrates ways of starting a dialogue to overcome barriers.

This bi-lingual publication (German & English) can be firmly recommended as an example for similar history projects, which could be created by multi-cultural classes of schools in Europe.

 

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