Message from Mukalap

  • Netherlands 
  • South Africa 
Audio Tracks 

SHORT JOY // A unique recording from 1936 in South Africa captures the voice of a man named Mukalap, who invites the Europeans to listen to him and hear his native language, !Ora. The film is a response to Mukalap’s message, which the director understands not only as a valuable historical artifact, but, above all, as an invitation to communicate across time and space, in languages living and dead. “Constructed as a dialogue, I reply to Mukalap speaking in the Dutch, English and Afrikaans language, as well as fragments of !ora.” …

“Playing back Mukalap’s message on a grand E.M.G. gramophone became a way of resounding his voice again, now in the present time. The giant horn of the gramophone, at once voice and void, personified Mukalap to me, he is at once present and absent as I listen and answer.” Judith Westerveld


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  • Original title
    Message from Mukalap
  • Direction
  • DOP
    Judith Westerveld, Tijs de Bie
  • Editing
    Khalid Shamis
  • Sound
    Khalid Shamis, Matthijs Tuijn
  • Duration
    15 min (1-15 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • Netherlands
    • South Africa
  • Colour
    • Colour
    • Black & White is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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