Bushmen, the original people of southern Africa, regain the right to live on their ancestral lands – Botswana

A celebration of the Bushmen’s historic court victory against their expulsion from their ancestral lands, weaving together photos and testimonies showing their profound connection to their homelands.

The Bushmen are the original people of southern Africa. They can uniquely claim to be the ‘most indigenous’ peoples in the world, having lived on their lands longer than anyone else has lived anywhere.

In the 1980s, it was discovered that the Central Kalahari Game Reserve lies in the middle of the richest diamond fields in the world. Between 1997 and 2002 almost all Bushmen were taken away from their homes and driven to eviction camps outside the reserve, where they were not only deprived of their basic human rights – home, food and water – but also of the ways of life which had shaped, over millennia, their identity as a people.

With the campaigning help of Survival International, the Bushmen took their case to the High Court. They won. The court ruled that the Botswana government’s eviction of the Bushmen was ‘unlawful and unconstitutional’, and that they had the right to live on their ancestral lands.

In this photograph, Bushmen celebrate their 2006 victory.

‘Today is the happiest day for us Bushmen,’ said Bushman Roy Sesana at the time. ’We have been crying for so long, but today we are crying with happiness. […]

For the Bushmen, land is life.

Picture © Survival International

Source: ‘Today we are crying with happiness’ – Survival International
Address : http://www.survivalinternational.org/galleries/ckgr
Date Visited: Sun Feb 17 2013 20:31:58 GMT+0100 (CET)

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