Mwangaza Mama

Elsa Oliveira and Rebecca Walker. (2019) Mwangaza Mama. MoVE and ACMS: Johannesburg [OPEN ACCESS]

Mwangaza Mama is a creative storytelling project that was undertaken in collaboration with a small group of cross-border migrant women living in Johannesburg. Inspired by previous MoVE work, the main aim of the two-year project was to learn more about migrant women’s everyday experiences of the city by including them in the production of knowledge about issues that affect them. The textile collages and narrative stories produced by the women for public audiences weave through various aspects of their lives, taking the reader on a visceral journey of intense hurt and healing to self-recognition and self-power. Alongside these thought provoking works are reflections by the project facilitators and their colleagues who work in similar areas. Each contribution adds richness to the tapestry of this important book. Not only does it offer readers an opportunity to reflect upon the complex lives of women migrants, a population group that is often hidden from view, it also encourages us to reflect on the ways that stories are told and how different ways of telling can create new forms of awareness and activism.

Read more about this project in this e-book:

About Elsa Oliveira

Elsa Oliveira is a researcher and PhD student at the African Centre for Migration and Society.

Since 2010, Elsa has been involved in a range of research projects that makes use of participatory visual and narrative methods. These projects aim to engage in research that explores the lived experiences of multiple migrant groups, with a specific focus on issues of sexuality and migration.

Elsa was one of two ACMS staff that launched the MoVE (methods.visual.explore) project. She is interested in exploring the ways in which research outputs can be disseminated into wider public forums and in the ways in which research can support social justice movements.

As part of maHp, Elsa will assist in coordinating visual research projects and undertaking research exploring visual methodologies for investigating migration and health in southern Africa.