About the Project
February 12, 2018 Written by Eric Lake
We are creating Song of the Kalahari in order to alleviate the cultural genocide and assimilation currently being forced upon the Bushmen by sharing their story to promote positive awareness about their plight. Working directly with the San Bushmen to create the story of Song of the Kalahari, the film will illustrate the depth of knowledge and importance of their 100,000 year old culture. The story will also explore the historic and current challenges the Bushmen have faced in living their traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle. The world wide attention this film will bring to the Bushmen’s struggles will promote positive change for them by building positive awareness about the Bushmen culture and bringing public concern to their struggles. The success of this film will also provide a future revenue stream to support the Bushmen we are working with in their desire to continue to live their traditional ways.
The disappearance of the Bushmen’s way of life would be a great loss to humanity as a whole, as we have largely lost our own connection to the natural world and the ecological community structure that has allowed human beings to live and thrive as a species for hundreds of thousands of years. This disconnection from nature has resulted in an unprecedented human impact on our planet’s ecosystems and geology, leading to what has been described as the Earth’s sixth major extinction. Song of the Kalahari not only addresses the Bushmen’s struggle to survive the inequity of a modernizing Africa, but offers a crucial message to the world at this time— that our own lost connection to the natural world can be regained and found anew.
By highlighting the Bushmen’s profound connection to the natural world, we aim to inspire young and old to undertake their own journey of reconnection to nature. This film asks the question, “If we don’t understand the value of our own fundamental human relationship to wild spaces, how can we ever hope to survive?” The story of the Bushmen and how they are being harmed by the impacts of colonization and the commodification of all life is also the story of humankind. Just as the Bushmen have asked us for help in the telling of their story, they also see the need to help the world by teaching us what we have lost.
Benefiting the Bushmen
Song of the Kalahari has partnered with the 8 Shields Institute, a U.S. based 501(c)3 charitable organization benefiting the Origins Project Trust, which provides direct support to Bushmen communities in Southern Africa. The Origins Project Trust is comprised of Bushmen elders and naturalists whose mission is to manage and hold in trust a large landholding for the Bushmen village we are working with, allowing them a place to hunt and live, insulating them from forced resettlement, and promoting and fostering the continued living and learning of their traditional lifeways. The production of the Song of the Kalahari will be funded through a nonprofit charitable giving model, which allows the film to be owned by the Bushmen community through the Origins Project Trust. This will ensure that the Bushmen who we are collaborating with in the creation this project will receive direct financial benefit from the finished film for years to come.
Song of the Kalahari has in place a talented creative team with expertise in animated film production and an accomplished team of advisors ideally suited to serve on this project with expertise in naturalism, cultural anthropology, and a Bushmen cultural liaison for the Khomani Bushmen who has done fieldwork for the South African San Institute (SASI).