What is the Centre for Popular Memory?

The Centre for Popular Memory (CPM) is an oral history based, research, advocacy and archival centre located at the University of Cape Town. We record and disseminate peoples’ stories to expand the democratizing possibilities of public history. The CPM trains students and organizations in oral/ visual history research, theory and forms of public representation; and runs a publicly accessible multi-lingual archive that contains over 3000 hours of audio and video.

The CPM believes that people’s stories have the power to contribute to social and developmental change. As we hear, see, imagine and empathize with others, we can contribute to altering attitudes, perceptions and policy. Given that memories are particularly shaped and conserved by relationships, we focus on facilitating dialogues across generations and through sites of memory.

Our research prioritizes multi-lingual and multi-disciplinary approaches to memory, narrative, gender, identity formation, and the impact of violence and traumatic legacies in Africa. We specialize in dissemination of these narratives through books, radio, exhibitions, film and web. Future plans include the development of content into more portable media platforms.

For more on the Centre for Popular Memory:

  • view our YouTube channel
  • open content button look at some of our materials on UCT Open Content
  • CPM image gallery: