People in South Africa have a dynamic, but largely unrecorded heritage. The Centre creates spaces for these stories to be heard, seen and remembered

The Centre for Popular Memory(CPM) records peoples' stories.

Our four main areas are:

  • Researching projects about popular memories and identities.
  • Training students in memory studies, oral history and methodology.
  • Archiving oral, visual and audio-visual forms of memory.
  • Disseminating memories and stories to various audiences.


Sea Point Baptist church Sunday School Play
District Six Museum
Wagon wheel making in District Six
The activities of the Centre focus both on and off campus and we are committed to using oral history, visual history and digital archiving to contribute to social development and democratization.

Why Popular Memory?
People have the right to be seen, heard and remembered. For marginalised individuals and groups who have felt the pain and the joys of the past these needs tend to be acute. Storytelling through various media can play a small but significant part in meeting these needs. We believe that the term 'popular memory' encompasses individual and collective forms of memory such as community, politics, culture, family and gendered memories. We are not an exclusive Centre and we acknowledge that there are different sites of popular memory throughout the African continent. Given that memories are especially shaped and conserved by relationships between people, we aim to facilitate dialogues across generations and sites of popular memory