Poking the wound – research, stories and process – thinking through the complexities

By Rebecca Walker (Postdoctoral Researcher, African Centre for Migration & Society, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa).

Since February 2017 myself and a colleague have been working with a small group of migrant women who live in inner-city Johannesburg. Referred to us via a local psychosocial NGO, the women all agreed to be participants in our arts-based research project exploring the experiences of women who are migrants and mothers in Johannesburg. All of the participants are asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi. They all arrived in South Africa over the past ten years having had to flee war and poverty in their home countries and crossing many borders in the hope of finally finding safety and more secure lives in South Africa. All of the women are mothers to young children. They are also all parenting alone – their husbands have either been killed, gone into hiding or are simply absent.

Narrative inquiry as a decolonising methodology

As part of the #MethodsMatter Blog Series, this week, we spoke with Prof Hamdan, based at the University of Dammam, who has written on Narrative Inquiry as a decolonising methodology. Her use of narrative inquiry stemmed from her PhD, which explored how Arab Muslim women in Canada reflected on their lives and their gender roles.

Prof Hamdan had realised the potential power of narratives when she had started reading bell hooks’ book Teaching to Transgress. ‘It had a high impact on me as an educator, a Muslim minority, as a teacher, and as a pedagogue’, she explained.

“Let me tell my own story”: Poetry as a Decolonising Methodology

As part of the #MethodsMatter Blog Series, this week, we caught up with Dr Duduzile Ndlovu, based at the African Centre for Migration & Society (Wits University), who has written her PhD titled “Let Me Tell My Own Story”: A Qualitative Exploration of How and Why ‘Victims’ Remember Gukurahundi in Johannesburg Today, using poetry.