Our research is primarily conducted in the Western Cape, but our work extends to other parts of southern and central Africa.

Interviews are recorded in a variety of languages, with a focus across the following research topics:

  • Forced removals under apartheid
  • Trauma, narrative and memory
  • Social impact of HIV/AIDS pandemic
  • Popular culture, music, oral performance
  • South African life stories
  • Refugee and migrant life stories
  • Sites of memory and heritage practices
  • Cape Town Street Stories

Major research projects during 2001 to 2010 included:

  • Forced removals to Atlantis and Mamre (80 interviews, English/Afrikaans transcribed and translated)
  • Langa heritage (56 interviews, English/Xhosa transcribed and translated)
  • Popular culture in Cape Town (60 interviews, English, Xhosa transcribed and translated)
  • Congolese and Nigerian Migration (110 interviews, English, French, Lingala transcribed and translated)
  • Trauma and Memory in Guguletu (32 interviews, Xhosa transcribed and translated)
  • Mediation of trauma in different communities (46 interviews English transcribed)
  • Forced removals from Ndabeni and Blouvlei (60 interviews English, Xhosa transcribed and translated)
  • Street Stories (400 interviews  English, Afrikaans, Xhosa)
  • Performing Stories (90 interviews Xhosa,Zulu, Sotho, Tswana, English)

During this period, CPM staff published 29 articles, delivered 30 conference papers and produced the following 5 collections:

  • S. Field (ed.) 2001. Lost Communities, Living Memories: Remembering Forced Removals in Cape Town. David Philip: Cape Town.
  • V. Bickford-Smith, S. Field and C. Glaser (eds.) 2001. ‘Special Edition: Oral History in the Western Cape’. African Studies vol.60 no.1.
  • S. Field, R. Meyer and F. Swanson (eds.) 2007. Imagining the City: Memories and Cultures in Cape Town. HSRC Press: Cape Town.
  • Special Edition: Approaching oral history. South African Oral Hisotry Journal, Vol60, No2.
  • R, Meyer, 2009. Streetstories from Klipfontein, Lansdowne and Main Road, CPM: Cape Town