Request on collaboration to honour our forefathers, the world’s most sustainable people
Sustainability means the capacity to endure. In animal life the ‚surviving of the fittest‘ presents us with this crucial outline that enables a continuation in development of a particular species. Others species are unsustainable and get extinct.
The homo erectus/ergaster was through ‚natural selection‘ outlived by the Homo sapiens. Compassion, imagination and creativity were needed to survive and evolve. This suggests that fitness was not enough anymore, the animal had to be brainy also.
In the last five thousand years of human history we have witnessed numerous civilisations appear and collapse. Seemingly immortal empires as the Egyptians, the Greek, the Romans, the Mayas, the Incas, the Ottoman and the Spanish and British Empire finally exposed limited lifespan. We need to conclude that all these cultures lacked the ability to be sustainable.
So, are there any sustainable cultures at all and how did they manage to survive?
We need to look for cultural groupings of people with specific set of ideas, customs and practises that have endured beyond tens of thousands of years where we may find some answers on this question. But how do we know that these people have existed before the Egyptians or the Mesopotamians? In the recent exploration of the origins of human evolution, Stanford scientists concluded that the human family tree is rooted in one of the world’s most marginal and ‚primitive‘ people – the San (Bushmen) of Southern Africa.
„We have to recognise our origins in a kind of hunter-gatherer group that most people today would say (is) much more primitive than we are,“ said Stanford biology professor Marcus Feldman. „They don’t use metal. They live in the toughest kind of environment, with very little water. Their hunting tools are minimal; they have a very-low calorie diet…but they are total geniuses in the bush.“ Further, he explained, „over tens of thousands of years, we lost the skills they have, that they teach their children. We developed a totally different set of values – with evolution through agriculture – that bypassed these people.“
Evolutions through agriculture and in addition the industrial and digital revolution supply tools such as film and new media. These are powerful tools to express thoughts and knowledge. The skill to master these tools can be obtained by practically any person.
We are set out to teach the Bushman these skills. This may be the means to provide us with new ideas and an understanding on how they have reached to be the world leaders on sustainability.
Lets celebrate our forefathers, the source of human kind and masters of sustainability by honouring them before it will be too late. Give them the chance to show us their vision on live, death and the sustainability that made us an endurable species.
Celebrating and honouring the San means celebrating humanity and after all, showing self-respect. The idea is that the San will be making their own fiction film with the thematic on suicide and a parody on men’s attempt to escape the animal kingdom. Suicide is not part of their vocabulary, however comparable to the Inuit, this phenomena becomes a widespread practice. In order to grasp the action of self-killing, one needs to bring this problematic into the picture, which will empower them to talk about it. At the same time we need to present a counter vision to the global audience on the popular Hollywood-like production ‚The Gods must be Crazy‘ that misinterprets core values of the San.
In other words I propose an intercultural ‘swap-shop’ situation as a means of discovering what conditions have changed the fabric of their cohesion and is driving the members to suicide; and to empowering them with Western technologies with which to introspect, craft and disseminate their story. For this intervention I devoted the last decade into high-tech pioneering and physically developing the World in a Shell (WiaS) as a tool to practically utilize and facilitate this swap-shop situation. In homage to indigenous people’s core operating principles, it is nomadic, adaptive, and off the grid. It provides the infrastructure for cultural exchange via workshops, film screenings, theatre and filmmaking, and in the same way it draws on renewable natural energy, to power and facilitate this infrastructure.
After a three-month period of location scouting in the Kalahari Desert and presenting the project to the local Kuru-Trust, the largest San organization I received an official invitation. Irena Burkova, Director General, UNESCO in Paris granted her patronage to the project.
We would like to invite you to ‘adopt’ a San with the idea to provide and convey your skills and make him or her a film director.
Impression of WiaS at the Tsodilo Hills (the ‘Louvre of the Kalahari Desert’) in Nord-West Botswana