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Elsemi Olswage

After taking two gap years spent experimenting with different jobs and ways of life in the magical city of Edinburgh, I returned with a vivid interest and desire for understanding cultural difference in all its creative forms and expressions. Yet, at the same time, the period I spent overseas, coupled with my background, growing up in a small and dusty town in Namibia, had sensitised me to the immense disparities structuring our world and opened up my mind to the value of vast open spaces and different ways of relating to the environment. This led me to complete a BA undergraduate degree in Development and Environmental Studies at the University of Stellenbosch, majoring in Social Anthropology. My diverse interests range from social justice and environmental issues to the every-day creative ways in which people make sense of their lives and their immediate environments. For my Honours dissertation, completed in 2010, I spent three weeks on a San resettlement farm in the Omaheke region of Namibia where I did my fieldwork amongst the Ju/íhoansi people who live there. Focusing on memory-making and the work the past is made to do in navigating current social realities, my thesis explored 'legacy identities'; knowledges; and the ways in which seemingly remote and isolated localities lie at the intersection of multiple global and national networks of knowledge, capital and ideas.