’Black and White, Finnish Memories of Northern Namibia’

The Museums Association of Namibia (MAN) in association with the Embassy of Finland will present an exhibition of some of the earliest known photographs of northern Namibia.

The exhibition, titled ‘Black and White: Finnish Memories of Northern Namibia’, will open at the National Art Gallery of Namibia on Wednesday, 14 May, and will run until 30 May.

The photographs in the exhibition were donated by the Kumbukumbu Finnish Mission Museum in Helsinki to the Nakambale Museum in northern Namibia, but will be showcased at the NAGN.

When the German missionary, Hugo Hahn, visited Finland in 1866, he appealed for assistance in an area of South-West Africa where he was working. The Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission responded to the appeal and the first team of Finnish missionaries arrived in the Kingdom of Ondonga on 9 July, 1870. Since then the histories of Finland and Namibia have been linked.

Visitors to the exhibition will see the ways in which this collection of historical black and white photographs not only documents the memories of Finnish missionaries, but also provides unique insight into life in northern Namibia during a period of immense change. The transfer of the exhibition to Namibia has provided an opportunity to add texts that give a greater explanation of the images. Finnish photographs now benefit from Namibian interpretations that have been provided by a team from MAN, Nakambale Museum, the Embassy of Finland and the University of Namibia’s (Unam) History Society.

The exhibition is MAN’s contribution to International Museum Day, which will be celebrated on Sunday, 18 May. The theme for this year is ‘Museum Collections Make Connections’.

Source : The Namibian