Oral History

Oral history was the first kind of history and even today, historical information continues to circulate by word of mouth, in African societies in particular. What makes oral history attractive in contemporary South Africa, among groups as diverse as officials in government departments, local activists and community leaders, is its perceived ability to retrieve, affirm and disseminate long-repressed African traditions. In a country still wounded by a legacy of racial discrimination, the retrieving of oral memories is a task more urgent than ever.

Interactive Interview
Radikobo Ntsimane (deputy-director of Sinomlando) interviews Florah Buthelezi
on the outskirts of Nhlazatshe near Edendale. Photo: Kare Ahlschwede

Since its inception in 1996 Sinomlando has conducted more than six oral history projects and is in the process of initiating a new one called “Memories of AIDS”. In addition it provides training and mentoring to various oral history practitioners. Since 2005 several community volunteers in Mpophomeni near Howick have been trained in oral history. The testimonies collected by the trainees will be presented in an "ecomuseum" located in the township. Sinomlando also provides training and assistance to community workers from Edendale with a view to establishing a community museum in a local library.

Bibliography

Philippe Denis, "Oral History in a Wounded Country", in J. A. Draper (ed), Orality, Literacy and Colonialism in Southern Africa. (Semeia Studies,
vol. 46), Pietermaritzburg 2003, Cluster Publications, pp. 205-216.

--, "The Ethics of Oral History in South Africa", ESARBICA Journal of the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Branch of the International Council
of Archives
26 (2007), pp. 113-132.

Philippe Denis and Radikobo Ntsimane (eds), "Oral History in a Wounded Country. Interactive Interviewing in South Africa", Pietermaritzburg 2008, University of KwaZulu-Natal Press.

 

 

Fulbright scholar hosted by Sinomlando for one year Read more...

Workshop with Biloba in Brussels – an initiative from the South to the North Read more...

Memory work with children of refugees in Cape Town Read more...

Technical support to memory work projects in Togo and Benin Read more...

Concluding workshop of the Memories of AIDS Project Read more...

First workshop with youth peer leaders Read more...

First workshop at Indaleni School for the Deaf Read more...

Memory Studies Symposium in Durban Read more...

Programme Manager Cliford Madondo graduates in Leadership and Development at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Read more...

Restructuring of the Sinomlando Centre Read more...

Two researchers from Sinomlando at an international conference in the Netherlands Read more...

Philippe Denis shares the findings of the ZMTE Oral History Project at the KZN Heritage Liberation Route Archive Colloquium in Durban Read more...

Former enemies take part in a reconciliation workshop in Mpophomeni township Read more...

Radikobo Ntsimane, Senior Research Manager at the KwaZulu-Natal Museum Services Read more...

Anni Tonin, Onjengami ‘s Project Manager, leaves Sinomlando Read more...

Two staff members from Sinomlando at Virginia Commonwealth University in the United States Read more...

A delegation from Virginia Commonwealth attends an oral history workshop facilitated by the Sinomlando Centre  Read more...

Closure of the Mpophomeni Oral History Project  Read more...

Two research papers by Sinomlando staff at the SAHARA Conference in Port Elizabeth   Read more...

 

Partnership with Whizzkids United for a joint project at Edendale Hospital  Read more...

 

A new book on the history of Fedsem  Read more...