Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon is an Associate Researcher on the Migration and Health Project Southern Africa, based at the African Centre for Migration & Society at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits).
Matthew holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford, which was ethnographic study of HIV/AIDS treatment programmes to displaced communities in northern Uganda. Over the past five years he has conducting research in inner-city Johannesburg on themes of migration, religion, health and housing. He is beginning new research looking at African migration to Brazil.
Matthew has published widely in different books and journals including Medical Anthropology, Critical African Studies and the African Cities Reader, and a number of newspapers and journalistic publications including the Mail & Guardian, Sunday Times, Chimurenga Chronic and the ConMag. He is the lead editor of the book 'Routes and Rites to the City: Mobility, Diversity and Religious Space in Johannesburg' to published by Palgrave-MacMilllan.
South Africa’s biggest city is ground zero for debates about the long-term effectiveness and constitutionality of militarized urban policing and how we imagine the post-Covid city. maHp/ACMS writing fellow Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon leans in on the discussions.Read more
This article draws on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Johannesburg between 2011 and 2019 in inner-city unlawful occupations and temporary emergency accommodation sites. These are often referred to as “hijacked buildings”…Read more
ACMS/maHp associate researcher Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon, and the general secretary of the Inner-City Federation Siyabonga Mahlangu argue that it is critical the police and army deployment for the Covid-19 lockdown not result in the persecution of residents of unlawful occupations.Read more
Anthropologist Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon shares his insights on Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba’s visits to so-called “hijacked buildings” in the city.Read more
According to the United Nations, in 2003 South Africa had the highest number of asylum seekers worldwide. Based on interviews with applicants or former applicants to refugee status as well as officials, adjudicators and activists, the authors propose to analyze asylum as a form of life, rather than as bare life.Read more
Helen Zille, the former leader of South Africa’s opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), and premier of the Western Cape, casually invoked, in a series of tweets, one of the continued liberal myths of colonisation – that Europeans brought advanced and widespread medical care to the colonies.Read more
This project is exploration of the ways religion and diverse forms of mobility have shaped post-apartheid Johannesburg, South Africa. It analyses transnational and local migration in contemporary and historical perspective, along with movements of commodities, ideas, sounds and colours within the city.Read more
The future of artisanal small-scale (ASM) mining in South Africa rests on a legal and existential precipice; its very definition is clouded in dust and smoke.Read more
This paper is an account of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Brussel’s projects in Johannesburg from 2007 to 2013, drawing on the ethnographic research of an external researcher (Wilhelm-Solomon) and MSF health worker and project leader (Pedersen).Read more
In January 2012 the residents of an inner-city tenement building in Doornfontein, Johannesburg, were evicted on a court order. This paper documents how a group of blind Zimbabweans experienced threats of violence and accusations of betrayal, as they were offered alternate accommodation by the evicting company because of their disability.Read more
In March this year, Cyril Ramaphosa – the South African Deputy President – publicly indicated support for the decriminalisation of sex work when launching the first South African National Sex Worker HIV Plan.Read more
How is policing and securitising of refugee and migration policy in both South Africa and Europe creating new social divides and exclusions and exacerbating insecurity?Read more