New Publication: South Africa & the Group Areas Act

Cochrane, L. and Chellan, W. (2017) "The Group Areas Act affects us all": Apartheid and Socio-Religious Change in the Cape Town Muslims Community, South Africa. Oral History Forum.

Abstract: Oral history interviews with elders of the Cape Town Muslim community were conducted in order to record and explore the socio-religious changes that occurred over the last century. Our research explored experiences related to culture, society, language, religion, education, traditions, family life, dress, food and values. The primary event that was consistently identified by elders as a focal cause of change was the Group Areas Act (1950), which was a policy of the South African Apartheid government that resulted in the forced relocation of many members of the Muslim community in and around Cape Town, South Africa. This paper explores how individuals experienced the Group Areas Act at the time of its implementation and how elders understand this Act as contributing to long-lasting socio-religious change. Rather than draw conclusions, point to causes of change and outline specific outcomes of the Act, we end this article with diverse, inconclusive and debated experiences: a reflection of the oral histories of the Cape Town Muslim community. 

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Postdoc: Web Mapping & Oral History

Based at the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling and the Geomedia Lab, at Concordia University, the Postdoctoral Fellow will contribute to the technological and methodological development of the Living Archives Toolkit of the Rwandan Diaspora, a public online platform that will enable researchers, educators and survivors themselves to access 87 recorded life story interviews. This program is supported by two interlocking SSHRC-funded projects and is developed in collaboration with Page-Rwanda, representing the friends and family of those lost in 1994. The platform will be built on two existing open source applications: Stories Matter, developed by High and colleagues to enable the access to audiovisual life stories and Atlascine, designed by Caquard and colleagues to enable the mapping of stories in general; Atlascine is built on Nunaliit. The postdoctoral Fellow will be in charge of exploring and implementing methodological and technological solutions to enable the interfacing between Atlascine and Stories Matter. This interfacing is envisioned as a way to respond to the wider need to develop new ways to access, share, listen, visualize, map and analyse the recorded stories of survivors of mass violence.

More details.

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