The Centre for Civil Society based within the School of Built Environment and Development Studies invites you to the seminar -QWASHA ! An online archive of community digital content

Speakers:  Molefi Ndlovu, Niall McNulty & Lwazi Gwijane
Date:           Thursday 21 June 2012
Time:          12:30-14:00
Venue:         CCS Seminar Room 602, 6th Floor, MTB Tower, Howard College

The Qwasha!* Portal for community digital content is an online public archive of counter narratives, community media productions, interviews, stories and activities. This initiative is addressing the need to increase the use of Information Communication Technologies and related social media platforms to facilitate and amplify citizen voices and grassroots exchange, dialogue, and collaboration at local, regional, continental and global scale in all spheres of public life. The hope is that by putting effort into a more organized public action archiving practice in community based development initiatives within the eThekwini metro area the online platform can be seen as another tool in the hands of citizens, a means through which they can voice their view and move citizens closer to the realization of fundamental human rights to free expression, thought, association, access to information and the right to dissent. The seminar will provoke discussion on the theoretical concerns motivating this initiative, offering a situated reading of the usefulness of such a tool and possible uses it can be put to. The session will connect practical discussions about how the portal works and attempt to test some connecting threads linking critical theory, subjectivity, history and identity in a post-colonial African context.
*Qwasha is an isiZulu word: Qwasha. [v/i]; Imperative; Singular of: uku Qwasha (v/i.) Lie awake without sleep, very alert.

Molefi Mafereka Ndlovu (Lead Researcher): Molefi’s research background includes the planning, designing and execution of participatory research projects; conducting peer training and capacity building with community based activist and advocacy groups. He has worked for the Education Policy Unit (Wits- EPU), with community based activist groups such as the Workers Library (committee member); the Anti Privatization Forum (APF-JHB), Imbawula Trust; Rasa FM (Pimville – Soweto), Indymedia-Africa (JHB, DBN & CT), Prince Africa Zulu Foundation Trust (PAZFT-Trustee-SADC); Dedicated Artists Cultural Arts Organisation (DACAO- Clermont), Non Commercial Users Constituency (NCUC-ICANN- Afrika), Black Pepper (SA: Exc Consultant), Khula Malaika Foundation (KMF- W. Cape: Associate), UmKhumbane Mail (Durban; Associate), Onkweni Royal Cultural Festival (Ulundi) and DeepDish TV (NYC; Associate). Molefi’s approach is based on critical theory and pedagogy of the oppressed with a focus on participatory action oriented research methodologies he has completed his bachelor’s degree in Community Development (UKZN). His current and latest work online includes: ,  and  

     Niall McNulty (Web Developer). Niall is an experienced content and web manager, with a focus on online community management and user-generated content. He has developed and managed a number of digital projects for local government, academic institutions and other organisations. He manages the development and maintenance of the Ulwazi Programme, an innovative project which uses the Municipal libraries, Web 2.0 technology and community journalists to create an organic, living record of the local history and indigenous knowledge of the city. Volunteers from the community are shown how to use digital audio recorders and cameras, and provided with training in basic IT, oral history and writing skills. They then collect stories from their community and add them to a collaborative Community Memory website. Niall’s current and latest work online includes

     Lwazi Gwijane (Graphic designer). Lwazi is a Hip Hop Kulture activist Born in Namibia to South African exile parents he has lived in many parts of the country, now based in Durban. He is founder of THE ART OF HIP HOP FOUNDATION which hosts the popular “OFF THE HOOK” hip-hop events in Durban. Lwazi studied Brand Communication Management specializing in graphic design at Vega School of Brand Leadership (JHB). Lwazi is lead creative input on graphic presentation and utility of the Qwasha! Portal. His current and latest work online includes: 

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