Where Fire Speaks: A Visit With the Himba (Parallax)

Where Fire Speaks: A Visit With the Himba (Parallax)

David Campion

Language: English

Pages: 169

ISBN: B00452VD50

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

On the wild river that divides Namibia from Angola, members of the Himba tribe herd cattle as they have done for hundreds of years.

But the world of the Himba sits in the shadow of third-world development and the inevitability of change that threatens their way of life; now, they are more likely to attend evangelical church services, congregate around the liquor trader’s truck, and pose for tourists’ photographs.

Sandra Shields and David Campion spent two months living with the Himba, and this book, a provocative melding of photography and narrative, tells of the profound changes in the lives of the Himba—both gradual and immediate—which echo those effecting indigenous people around the world.

Includes more than one hundred black and white -photographs.

David Campion and Sandra Shields met in South Africa, married a year later, and have collaborated for over a decade. Sandra has written for publications including Geist and The Globe and Mail, and David’s photographs have appeared in publications and exhibitions in Canada, Europe, and Africa.


Parallax, a new series of books from Arsenal Pulp Press, explore the far reaches of the modern world, proposing new perspectives on how we see ourselves through the eyes and the words of our most intriguing photographers and writers.

Desert God (Ancient Egypt, Book 5)

Radiance of Tomorrow: A Novel

Fodor's South Africa: with the Best Safari Destinations

Patrice Lumumba: Africa's Lost Leader

Africans: The History of a Continent (African Studies)












man sat without ?inching while Jako probed the wound, then spent most of an hour cleaning out some of the sand. “There is nothing more I can do,” Jako said, looking worried. There was no point in stitching it up as what was really needed was surgery to reattach the tendons. Jako said the only way the man might get the use of his hand back was if he got to hospital as soon as possible. The hospital was in the big town of Opuwo, the place the liquor traders came from, the administrative capital of

are there to be seen. And the reader has the sense that this is incidental, rather than some plan, some political aesthetic. The images have rival images because realities of the present just do rival one another in the Himba world – as they do in all our worlds.  But one of the most striking photographs of all in this book is the x-ray of a skull. A doctor holds it up to the light to look, thereby obscuring her own head. The head of the Himba whose skull is thus shown sits alongside, looking

layers, going through the skin, into the tissue, and >nally down to the organs. Once he had cut into the abdomen, his hands worked around the rib cage for many minutes, pulling organs out of the animal, and laying them, still attached by sinew and tissue, to one side. The men moved in closer. I moved back, beyond the shade of the tree and into the midday heat while the doctor unraveled the goat. The healing had been going on for over an hour. Up in a cloudless sky, the thin white line of a

young, destruction of environment, and disappearance of knowledge and languages. For many tribal peoples, everything that is theirs seems to have to be exchanged for things that come from elsewhere – things they may want and need, but things for which they have to pay a dismaying price. Sense and justice urge that all of us look at how to create development that is sustainable and authentic, where the bene>ts are real and the price is not exorbitant. People need development that is built on

changing; he had heard recently of a young man who was selling insurance, and I wondered aloud if that was what the future looked like – a Himba insurance salesman. Culture We were picked up after supper by one of the students who had taken a liking to us. There was a cultural festival at the high school that evening and we were invited. Welldressed townsfolk >led into the gym and >lled the rows of chairs set up for the event. The festival began with a prayer, after which we watched the students

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