Brother’s Damon & Craig Foster has traveled extensively, living and working in remote villages and wilderness areas in ten African countries. For over twenty years their primary focus has been to tell stories with the voice of Africa herself, creating media experiences that enable a global audience to gain an intense and deep insight into the natural and cultural dynamics of this ancient continent. Their work celebrates Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) and the universal themes of the relationship between man and nature. Their work has attracted over sixty international awards, including the “Oscar of natural history filmmaking”, the Golden Panda from Wildscreen in the UK. The brothers film “The Great Dance” has been watched by over 500 million people in more than 100 countries worldwide. In their latest book on African indigenous knowledge called , Africa – Speaking with Earth and Sky, President Thabo Mbeki wrote the forward ; “Africa, Speaking with Earth and Sky’ is a testament to the wealth of knowledge and spiritual connectedness that people across this great continent hold with their environment. I am proud to be associated with this beautiful reflection of Africa”.
Damon & Craig have been guest lecturers at the University of Cape Town and Oklahoma State University, USA. They have been invited to speak at Tedx and both brothers have judged the UK’s largest natural history film festival in Bristol, England. In 2011 they were nominated for an Emmy award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. In 2013 they were voted by South Africa’s, City Press as one of the ’100 World Class South Africans’. In 2014 they were recognized as best director at the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAS) and their film The Animal Communicator has attracted over 2 million hits on YouTube.
For years Craig worked and lived with Bushmen hunters and shamans, Zulu traditional healers, Dogon priests and hunter/sorcerers. He lived the original human lifestyle and was initiated in many African ceremonies. This process broke down some of his traditional western education, creating a huge passion to explore the minds and souls of animals, and how they interact with humans – the human/animal interface.
The Foster brothers have been at the forefront of the African renaissance, using media to turn the tide on negative attitudes. They have reached an audience of over one billion by using Africa’s voice first hand. The filmmakers have a passion and commitment to the natural world and the relationship between human and nature has deeply influenced their style of filmmaking and the stories they seek out. In 1995 the brothers entered into an enduring relationship with the IUCN (The World Conservation Union) which has seen their ongoing involvement in African conservation issues, and particularly in the exploration and preservation of African indigenous heritage. They have worked and lived with some of the continent’s most powerful diviners, healers and hunters, whose legendary openness and intrinsic wisdom opened their eyes to another world…a world of deep connectedness to one’s fellow humans and a bond with the environment.
The brothers’ primary intent lies in telling stories with the voice of Africa herself, and creating film experiences that enable the viewer to gain an intense and deep insight into the natural and cultural dynamics of this ancient continent. They explore the timeless and universal themes of the relationship between man and animal, and the relationship between them and the environments that they share. They seek unique and challenging footage, which is enthralling and exciting, without compromising on integrity and sensitivity. They show reality as it is but in a way in which it is not usually seen. The brothers work closely together throughout every aspect of the process and have pioneered an organic style of filmmaking that brings new life to the screen.
Zayaan Khan is from Cape Town and works in understanding nuanaces within the food systems by navigating land from an interdisciplinary perspective. Firmly rooted in a socio-political context, she works at unhinging our dependence on neoliberal consumption.
Currently she is interested in food through the lens of art, specifically to find ways ot share stories, both of struggle and solution and how this influences self-care. She also helps us to understand Indigenous Knowledge and Food Sovereignty
Zayaan is currently completing a masters within the Environmental Humanties at UCT, her research is entitled “From seed-as-object to seed-as-relation”
I was born in Cape Town. During the second half of the 1970’s I worked as a professional musician, and in the early 1980’s, after doing an apprenticeship in ceramics, I embraced the profession of pottery.
In 1983 I moved to the West Coast village of Darling – where I spent much time in relative solitude, making profound connections with aspects of higher consciousness, the Earth, as well as some aspects of the legacy of the indigenous First Peoples known as the Bushmen.
In response to a deep longing to establish a closer relationship with nature, I became involved in my surroundings in various ways. I gradually came to realize that my experiences were nurturing in me, amongst other things, a deep respect for the ancient ways and wisdom common to many of the First Peoples of our planet.
During the latter part of the 1990’s I presented a number of workshops highlighting, amongst other things, valuable insights and gifts to be gained from the legacy of the Southern African Bushmen. Some of the occasions in which I had the opportunity to honour this legacy include the following:
In co-operation with the South African San Institute and The South African Museum, I helped to organize the first rock-art exhibition held at the South African National Art Gallery, displaying rock fragments bearing ancient cave paintings as well as artefacts that had been removed from caves by colonists in the early 1900’s. The event coincided with the opening of the Parliament of World Religions in Cape Town in December 1999, as part of the National Gallery’s Millennium Exhibition.
Dr Janette Deacon an archaeologist who has been interested since the 1960s in discovering details about the cultural history of the San of southern Africa over the past 20,000 years, and the conservation of their rock art in particular.
Profound musicians who embody the deep culture of our indigenous people preserving and honoring their wisdom through their music, spoken word and art.
“Making music is the most primeval form of human expression, imbued with a mystical power to communicate at an instinctual level that transcends language and speaks directly to the soul. The San bushmen of the Kalahari desert are Africa’s oldest inhabitants and, for them, music and dance are not merely creative expressions, but an integral part of their being. The bow and arrow that was used for hunting, was also used to make music. The chord of the bow functioned as a single string, monochord, on which to discover and explore harmonic over tones. The making and playing of the mouth bow, takes the audience on a journey to contextualize the hunting bow and arrow, and demonstrates aspectsof the musical properties of the bow, reflecting on the task of the players, as they embody the music and dance, as “an integral part of their being.
Brothers Isaak and Oum Gert are of the last Khomani San Bushmen Doctors and master trackers. When they read the tracks of an animal or insect, we are not only enticed by the deep story of that animal but also by the interconnection of the track the story of the animal and nature. They hold knowledge of the plants and medicines of the land. Both teach at the veldt school in the Kalagadi Park.
Lydia Kruiper holds the knowledge of plants and medicines along with her husband Isak. She is a master healer, using a combination of deep seeing, touch, plants and medicines. They are both powerful healers and wisdom keepers that carry the stories of origin. They both lead programs at the veld school, for Khomani San Bushmen children in the Kalahari desert.
Dr. Dominique Santos obtained a doctorate in Anthropology from Goldsmiths, University of London exploring the intersections of popular music and experiences of social change amongst various multi-racial communities in South Africa over several generations. She was born in Cape Town, bred in Johannesburg and buttered in London. A trained play worker, she has combined her academic interests with community activism to be a co-founder with Ntsiki McKay-Anderson of the Hummingbird Play Association in Johannesburg, innovating pop-up playgrounds in the inner city and presenting the resulting findings on the relationship between nature, play and transformation of urban space for the benefit of children to UNICEF. Her current work as a post-doctoral research fellow in the Anthropology Department at the University of the Free State, South Africa explores the meeting points of decolonisation, heritage, dreaming and community engagement to consider how indigenous knowledge systems can be applied to heritage preservation. She is an accomplished lucid dreamer, using dreams as an important springboard for action in the waking world. She has facilitated dream groups for better self-awareness and healing, consulted on a number of community play projects in London and Johannesburg and has written for outlets from The Conversation to the Sunday Times South Africa.