Moving Words: Exploring mobility and urban inclusion through poetry based methods

Moving Words is a two-year collaboration between the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Edinburgh. It is led by Duduzile S. Ndlovu – who is a maHp/ACMS postdoctoral researcher and British Academy Newton Advanced Fellow – in collaboration with S.J. Cooper-Knock.

The Moving Words workshops were facilitated by Baeletsi Tsatsi and Katleho Kano Shoro with assistance from Becky Niba and Sibonginkosi Dunjana.

The Moving Words Project invited women living in Johannesburg to reflect on their experiences of the city in poetry. Some of them were born in Johannesburg, some had moved to the city from other provinces in South Africa and others had come from beyond South Africa to live in the city.

To read the Moving Words poems click here:

About Duduzile Ndlovu

Dudu Ndlovu is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of the Witwatersrand where she completed her PhD in 2017. She is a recipient of a Newton Advanced Fellowship (2018-2020) through which, she is developing a decolonial arts based research agenda using poetic inquiry.

Dr Ndlovu’s research interests include: exploring arts-based research methods as a form of decolonising knowledge production; interrogating intersectionality through narrative work; and analysing the gendered politics of memory. She has used this approach in research exploring mobility, transitional justice, memory and emerging politics in Africa’s rapidly growing cities’ populations.

Dr Ndlovu’s PhD thesis explored Zimbabwean migrants’ use of art (poetry, music, drama, film) to navigate precarious lives; speak about violence – including the Gukurahundi in Zimbabwe and xenophobia in South Africa, and memorialise those events.

Dr Ndlovu is passionate about research communication to wider audiences beyond the academy. She translated her PhD dissertation into poetry as a strategy to include the research participants.