The Healing Land: Research Methods in Kalahari Communities
Author: Vanessa McLennan-Dodd
Publication: Critical Arts : A Journal of South-North Cultural and Media Studies, Volume 18, Issue 2, p. 3 – 30
Date: Jan 2004
The Healing Land (Isaacson, 2001a) is a vivid, experiential account of Rupert Isaacson’s journey towards personal and community healing among the Khomani Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert in South Africa. This paper provides a detailed analysis of The Healing Land in relation to Isaacson’s research methodology and interaction with the Khomani, examining how the story he tells is influenced and shaped by his own perceptions and experiences. This article echoes the journey of autoethnography from the inter- to the intra-personal. Factual, text-based information on the Khomani and a synopsis of The Healing Land leads to the incorporation of the author’s voice into the article, as she refers to personal interviews conducted during research on the book, and shares inner reflections on the article’s conclusion.