“A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine. Fabulous!”Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film maker
by Paul Weinberg
Traces and Tracks is the culmination of a 30-year journey that photographer Paul Weinberg undertook with the San of southern Africa, beginning in 1984. He had previously studied the San at university and was aware of their special relationship with nature, survival skills, and their hunter-gatherer existence. Celebrated filmmaker, John Marshall, was Weinberg's first guide to the San, but nothing could have prepared him for what he was about to see. Many of the San men in Eastern Bushmanland had been recruited into the South African army to fight against SWAPO, who at the time were engaged in a struggle for independence and liberation. In this first encounter, he witnessed signs of a society under severe pressure, grappling to hold on to their land, way of life, culture, and values. The
conversion of a people's way of life that was dependent on the land into cash wages from the South African army created traumatic circumstances for the San. As Weinberg notes, "My collective journeys [...] have been to understand and document the conundrum between these peace-loving communities and the challenges they face in a modern and fast-changing world. How can they hold onto and share their culture, heritage, and skills with others who wish to dispossess them? How can their lifestyle be accommodated into various shifting ecologies?"
#Oma and !Xam, dusk, IIAuru, Nyae Nyae, Namibia, 1987.
A young child watches as UN helicopter drops ballots, Namibian elections, Nyae Nyae, 1989.
Weekend festivities, Tsumkwe, Namibia, 1984.
Playing the dongu (thumb piano), Nyae Nyae, Namibia, 1989.
Fixing a bicycle, /Aotcha, Namibia, 1984.
Making an ostrich necklace, /Aotcha, Namibia, 1984.
Roy Sesana, who fought a gallant fight against the removal of his people, with his donkeys in the background, Molapo, Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana, 1996.
Dispossessed #Khomani San who once lived inside the Kgalagadi Transfrontier park, South Africa, 1995.
Hunter with spring hare, N≠ama Pan, Namibia, 1984.
Hunters washing, N≠ama Pan, Namibia, 1984.
A traditional dance as soldiers are demobilised from the South African army, Namibia, 1988.
Mass wedding for former soldiers in a Dutch reformed Church, Schmidtsdrift, South Africa, 1992.
Kgau/'ana, star of the Gods Must be Crazy films, with his family, Nyae Nyae, Namibia, 1988. When asked how much he received for his acting from the films that grossed $100 million, he replied R7 000 ($466).
Bushman Cave Museum, Giant's Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa, 1995.
Agarob and Henkie Barnard on the latter's farm, Gobabis, Namibia, 1988.
Young farm worker dehorns a calf, Gobabis, Namibia, 1988.
#Khomani San celebrate their return to the land with a trance dance, Welkom, South Africa, 1993.
Listening to stories, #Khomani San, Kagga Kamma, South Africa, 1991.
Playing a traditional game, Il Agri = an, Nyae Nyae, Namibia, 1987.
Young boy plays guitar, Nyae Nyae, Bushmanland, 1988.