Argentina / Asides

The Boers at the End of the World: “I was born here, but I am from there”

Trees, steppe, sky Gaiman Patagonia

Trees, steppe, sky

Back in March, I made it to (and through) Argentinian Patagonia. Before my travels I had been made aware by a few people of a mythical Afrikaner community that relocated to Argentina early in the 20th Century. In Gaiman, I met a woman who had forefathers that were Afrikaans but, she told me, they had returned to South Africa long ago.

Driving through the Patagonian landscape in Leo’s truck, I spent many quiet hours daydreaming about these Boer pioneers. Where were they? What had they been doing? Where did they go?

Admittedly I didn’t try very hard to find them – transport and time and circumstance not really allowing for a full-blown investigation – so I was delighted today to come across a new documentary called The Boers at the End of the World, produced by The Good Work Picture Company, which unravels these very mysteries.

It turns out that, of the 600 families that left South Africa for Argentina, a handful still live on the desolate plains of Patagonia. They left the motherland in 1908. “They didn’t want to be ruled by the British flag.” About 10 individuals, according to one interviewee, speak very good ye olde Afrikaans. “My true land is Africa,” says one man who was born in South America. “I want to go visit there. My heart is sore to see it.”

Here’s a teaser from YouTube. The doccie is coming soon. You can follow the project on Facebook.

Update: Read this in-depth article on the project and the people at the Daily Maverick.

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3 thoughts on “The Boers at the End of the World: “I was born here, but I am from there”

  1. Thanks for the kind words about my movie! Patagonia stole a piece of my heart, I’m looking forward to going back to keep filming. Also, I spent a year hitchhiking across Europe and North Africa when I was 18, so skimming through some of your adventures resonates!

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