In the introductory comments to this workshop, held on 20 February, 2020, Carolyn Hamilton asked us to consider how commissioning produces certain kinds of work and to think about what happens when commissioned work enters public life.
2019 was an exciting, jam-packed year for the APC, notable for the number of research papers and theses produced and for the realisation of the first significant results from the APC’s investment in its digital humanities initiative, the Five Hundred Year Archive (FHYA) project. November also saw the launch of a new series of graduate student projects to be featured on Emandulo, including Ayanda Mahlaba’s “Reading Ilanga” project, Benathi Marufu’s research on the archive/curation nexus in relation to Digital Curation, Henry Fagan’s Online Bibliography, and Daniel Dix’s work with Carolyn Hamilton on an experimental online curation of a research paper on public deliberative activity in colonial Natal in the Responsible Government period.
The year finished on a wonderful note with the graduation of APC doctoral candidate, Carine Zaayman. Carine’s thesis examines the demands on archives to produce more information than they contain. These demands are seen as sites of invention and imagination in the interests of producing counter colonial narratives. In contrast, the thesis argues that paying attention to all is not there, enables us to grasp something of the significance of absence in its own right. This absence is named the “anarchive”.
After a highly successful showcase in KwaZulu-Natal, the Early African Intellectuals as Composers of Music project ignited the Cape during Heritage Month (September 2019). The project is a historical undertaking seeking to 'wake up' Africans to their ancient music composition and intellectual excellence. It is also meant to raise awareness of and educate about the birth and journey that has been travelled by compositions of the past while finding a place for them to be recognized and enjoyed in contemporary Africa.