Namibia: Past & Present

2019 A Thorny Issue – Performance

A lens-based meditative performance by Imke Rust, Farm Otukarru, Namibia. (2017, Released 2019)

Video documentation, editing and audio by Steffen Holzkamp.

I am standing in a waterless dam, during a time of drought. The land on which I stand belongs to my father.

We are white. We do not belong here, they say. We stole this land, they say. Give back the land...

Holding up these stems like a family tree, I remember (and dare I say honour?) my ancestors. I am acutely aware of the thorns of the past, the violence and genocide which the Germans have inflicted during the colonial times.

The weight of the past is heavy. The pressure is high. The wind is strong.

I sense the accumulation of personal suffering, loss and dreams of my ancestors aching in my body. Yet, I dare not…

I open my hands to let go. Release the past into the wind. Thorns are crashing down.

Imke Rust

The Datura ferox L. (Thorn Appels) plant is a naturalised alien plant in Namibia. It is symbolic of my German ancestors who have migrated to Namibia several generations ago.

2019 (The Impossibility of) Cleansing Healing Watering

(The Impossibility of) Cleansing Healing Watering is a lens-based performance dealing with my personal exploration of Namibia’s colonial history and the question of how we can cleanse ourselves of the guilt of our ancestors, heal the wounds and work towards a fruitful future.
(Created in collaboration with Steffen Holzkamp)

2018 and before

The Horse is a Problem. The Horse Must Go. (Iwalewahaus collection)
Who Cares About the Horse? (Iwalewahaus collection)
Land Issues
Götterdämmerung (Acrylic and red pencil on Canvas, 100x80cm) © Imke Rust
Götterdämmerung (Acrylic and red pencil on Canvas, 100x80cm) © ImkeRust
Talking about the artworks ‘Götterdämmerung’ (above left), Promises of Death (below left) and Digging up Old Bones (right).