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Liberation & Living Archives

Living archives

Whilst much of the history of the ANC and broader liberation movement has been captured in various formats and stored at archives of the movement, many stories remain untold. The living archive project of the ISI aims to capture for posterity these untold stories. The institute is particularly concerned with the aging stalwarts of the movement, as procrastination may inevitably result in the loss of historic content. It will therefore initially focus on capturing the accounts of these stalwarts through the production of documentaries on the individual. These documentaries will be recorded in the form of video biographies, in which they relay their life passage, their involvement in the struggle, the values they embodied and strived for, together with their critique of the countries democratic emancipation, and their assessment of the ideals that remain to be achieved. Several episodes will be produced each year, with one episode devoted to a stalwart/activist.

Setting-up of the ‘Liberation Archives’

The constitution of the ISI mandates the institute to host a comprehensive archive on the broader liberation movement. Currently, these archives are fragmented and hosted by various entities at several sites, locally and abroad. This project aims to, in the first instance, develop a single portal to access all the sites, with an overarching search engine across all sites. In the second instance, it will actively search and gather material not yet lodged at an archive. Thirdly, it will create its own material for lodging in its own institutional archive. The ‘Liberation Archives’ will be promoted as a primary source of information about the liberation movement. It could be accessed by the general public for research purposes, including scholars and students who regularly need such information for projects. Similarly, it will be geared to be used as a source of information for public promotion and civic information purposes.

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