I have contributed to the conceptual development and operational dimensions of a range of arts-based projects through specialised service delivery to social researchers. This work has entailed project conceptualisation and planning, workshop planning, and production for a range of arts-based social research projects and their direct outputs.
The projects that I have worked on were undertaken in collaboration with Elsa Oliveira, a social researcher at the Africa Centre for Migration and Society, and co-coordinator of the MoVE Project. Elsa Oliveira and I have the skillset and theoretical differences and similarities required to create fruitful collaborations. We are, however, both focused on working with questions of methodology, research design, and exploring expanded forms of knowledge production. At the core of our work is a long-term collaboration that has entailed and enabled many different projects is our continued conversations and dialogue around ideas and approaches in social research and the complexities of the workshop encounter. This long-term interaction, no doubt, has an immense influence on the projects we work on together.
Project conceptualisation and planning, alongside workshop facilitation and production, follow a design process in the sense that a problem is identified and a solution is created for that problem. Furthermore, the projects we have worked on are iterations of previous projects, with us as project designers building on successes and failures as well as ideas and opportunities. This design process is socially and contextually responsive and works in contexts with materials and people towards creating a context in which participants can explore their stories. The participants require this structure within the project to be able to undertake their exploratory and questioning arts-based creations.
This section is under construction. Check back on another day to see full project documentation. In the meantime, however, do check out some of the publicly available documentation of projects I have worked on.
Bua Modiri and the Nelspruit Poster Project (2017 & 2019)
This was a sticker project that we conducted with a group of participants we had worked with in previous years. Bua Modiri evolved our of the Nelspruit Poster Workshop we worked on in 2017 and the realisation that the project output would be better suited as stickers. Since this workshop exists within an environment of social research production, one of our objectives in this project was to track the activities, processes, materials and relationships that created the workshop encounter. We wanted to track the workshop encounter because we realised a workshop period holds a lot of situated knowledge which dissipates once the workshop period ends. We created a website during the Bua Modiri workshop period in which we feature the participants’ core productions from the period, and in which we track that day-to-day interaction in that workshop period. The website is a platform in which we track our process: conceptualising, planning, and running a workshop. The website is also a platform for theoretical reflections on the project, as we unpack the project.
The Sex Worker Zine Project (2016)
In this zine project we worked with 24 men, women, and transgender persons who live and sell sex in the Gauteng, Limpopo, and Mpumalanga provinces of South Africa. We wanted to learn more about the lives of the people we were working with. We constructed the project around the making of zines, which are short handmade publications which can tell a visual-narrative story of its author’s choosing. The zine project brought fourth 24 unique stories about people’s lives through a facilitated process which lasted two weeks, in two different locations. The two workshops were influenced by workshops which came before them, for instance our work together in Volume 44. The experience of the first workshop influenced us in how we planned the second workshop, in an iterative design process. You can read about the process behind the project in a piece Elsa and I wrote together titled Facilitators’ Notes about Process, and the time that goes into projects like these, spent conceptualising, planning, making, and distributing.
Know My [HIV] Story (2016)
In 2016 Katlego Rasebitse, then the media liaison for Sisonke Gauteng, asked MoVE collaborators to assist the facilitation of a quilt-making process for an advocacy project. With the help of Katlego and Greta Schuler, Elsa Oliveira and I facilitated that workshop. This project was a quick response to an opportunity that arose for Sisonke to take part in an international HIV/AIDS awareness campaign showcasing original quilts organised to coincide with the International AIDS Conference. Our work in Know My [HIV] Story enabled Sisonke to participate in this initiative. This workshop was designed to allow for improvisation to occur through the working period. You can read about that project in a previous blog post, titled Notes on Stitching Our HIV Stories: Activist Quilts.