Full Course Description

In this course, students will visit Namibia, creating photo essays and journalistic pieces and performing community service in the form of educational exchange. Namibia’s lunar-like red landscapes, twinkling endless salt pans, and deserts that reach far into the Atlantic conjure images as if from an ancient universe. The Namibia desert, which spans Namibia’s entire coastline, is one of the oldest deserts in the world with some of the largest sand dunes shrouded in a dense salty mist from the ocean coastline. Many of Namibia’s rich coastal resources have yet to be tapped, making the country a fascinating place for students to immerse themselves in the many geographical anomalies and rich cultures that inhabit the coastal desert. Namibia is a relatively new country, gaining its independence in 1990 from South Africa, with a rich and tragic history of colonization and revolt, including German colonization and South African apartheid.

Students will be challenged to explore this fascinating country not only firsthand, but also through the lens of a camera. They will create a series of multimedia works in an effort to celebrate the natural beauty of the country and to bring awareness to Namibia’s difficult past. Navigating between the geography and the cultures of the past and the present, students will learn how to mediate the rich history and geography of Namibia through the camera.

Students will explore diverse environments; the stark desert of Damaraland where specialised plants survive in the clouds of ocean mist, the faded seaside town of Swakopmund and the township of Katatura in the capital city of Windhoek that both serve as reminders of past colonial times. Namibia is rightly proud of successes in wildlife conservation. The group will visit the extraordinary Etosha National Park as well as seeing vulture, pangolin and cheetahs conservation organisations in action.

Students will select one of three media themes to create a series of multimedia works using photography, film and documentation to celebrate either the culture.utilization of natural resources or simply the unique essence of this wonderful African country.