NEW SHORT FILM: ‘Hurinin, the people of the sea’ – a poignant story on the Topnaar people’s search for human rights and recognition  

The short film ‘Hurinin, People of the Sea’ tells how the marginalised Topnaar people in Namibia seek recognition for their ocean-related heritage, knowledge and rights. During the colonial rule, the Topnaar sub-clan known as the Hurinin (‘the sea-people’) were forced out of the coastal areas, disrupting their centuries-old reliance on ocean resources. In contemporary Namibia, the Topnaar continue to be excluded from decision-making on the ocean.

The film shows how the Hub has fostered connections between the Topnaar community and national and international actors to ensure more inclusive decision-making on the ocean. The film also depicts how songs, poems and dances specifically related to fishing and the ocean were once an integral part of Topnaar culture. Today, these cultural expressions of their former ocean-based way of life survive in the memory of very few Topnaar elders. The film illustrates how the Hub has supported an art-based research project led by Mr. Glenn Kasper, a Junior Councillor in the Topnaar Traditional Council, collecting Topnaar elders’ living memories of their people’s intangible cultural heritage and connections to the ocean. 

Watch the film (7min) here.

Read our Topnaar – Impact Story here.