Digital Media Department Share the Untold Stories of Namibian Women

A team of UVU Digital Media faculty and students worked on a project called “The Untold: Namibian Women’s Stories.” The team interviewed women from all 12 ethnic groups in Namibia, Africa, to hear the challenges and struggles in their own words. Often, the voices and stories of women in Namibia are overlooked. This project is the first comprehensive research done on Namibian women. The aim of the project was to record these untold stories and preserve them for future generations.

 

“They were grateful that someone cared enough to record their stories and experiences as part of this project,” Digital Media Professor Emily Hedrick said.

 

Digital Media Professor Michael Harper led the project initially. For the last two years, Professor Hedrick has taken the lead on it. She has traveled with two students to Namibia to record the stories. When the team first arrives at a village in Namibia, they are careful not to startle locals with the camera equipment. Before setting up the film and camera equipment, Hedrick first shares a Polaroid with the women in the village. She snaps a photo and shows how the Polaroid develops from a blank white piece of film to a portrait of each woman.

 

“This caused ripple effects through the neighborhood, and soon we had a line of women and children wanting a picture for themselves too,” Hedrick said. “Something as simple as an instant film photo helped open doors and allow us to capture their stories.”

 

The final deliverable for the project is an immersive website called “The Untold Women’s Project.” UVU’s Namibian women’s project will be the first to launch. It will be an ongoing project to collect women’s stories from all over the world. The Digital Media team plans to launch the website during the spring 2022 semester.