MA Studies > Fashion communication > Fashion communication alumnus > Bonana van Mil

Bonana van Mil


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My interest to do research on this project stems from my curiosity towards cultural differences that has always intrigued me. At the most it is always interesting when two totally different existences mix with each other. Throughout my studies I tried combinations with typically Dutch influences as well as African differences. This resulted in mostly very original new pieces of artwork.

"The San Bushmen

The San Bushmen in Southern Africa, who partly live in Botswana, inspired me.
The San, the indiginous people of southern Africa are Africa's oldest inhabitants, having lived in the region for almost twenty-five thousand years. Throughout history they thrived in one of the most hostile environments of the world, living as semi- nomadic hunter-gatherers.

From the information, experience and reading that I get, I gather that today these people live really on the edge of what was for thousand of years their pride and precious. Before being colonized by European pastoralist who forced their way to Southern Africa, the first colonization began by the tradional cattle-herding Bantu tribes who moved south mainly from east of Africa. Because of all this colonization land and resource loss has had an extensively negative impact on the San, particularly in terms of limiting their prospects of living according to their age-old cultures. Once millions roamed freely across their ancestral land; now the San people numbers approximately 100,000 individuals, dominated by others. Of this population just 3% are currently still able to exercise their tradional hunting right.


I would like to translate the nomad way of living into a person who travels around the world, a kind of globe-trotter. Somebody who is always ready to find new places. I would like to create a fashion collection with mixes of great skills which the San Bushmen use combined with globalization. If as result maybe the San Bushmen could sell their skills to us, so that they can integrate in a modern society without losing their precious old values and economically and maybe politically both parties' are satisfied. I'm sure the master plan can help me realize this project. "