UKZN’s Alan Paton Centre gets vital pieces of history

2014-04-03 00:00

THE Sinomlando oral history collection — a project to keep the memory of the past alive — handed over two significant sections of its project to the Alan Paton Centre yesterday.

The collections are “Memories of Aids”, which contains interviews with community members involved in the fight against HIV/Aids, and interviews from Mpophomeni during an era of political violence.

Speaking at the handover, Professor Shawn Utsey, a psychologist from Virginia Commonwealth University, currently on a Fulbright scholarship at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, said Sinomlando’s work is important because it helps to deal with the past. “Oral history has a healing effect,” he said.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Alan Paton Centre was chosen as the respository of the collections because it is a library that specialises in the storage of local archives.

The Mpophomeni stories were gathered through Sinomlando’s long association with Zulu Mpophomeni Tourism Experience, a heritage project based in Mpophomeni.

More than 30 residents and people associated with the township during the times of apartheid and political violence were interviewed.

The Memories of Aids collection includes oral testimonies of support group members, home-based carers and community workers involved in the fight against HIV/Aids in the Umgundundlovu District since the onset of the epidemic.

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