What is the Centre for Popular Memory?


The Centre for Popular Memory (CPM) at the University of Cape Town is a research unit committed to:

  • training learners in multilingual recording skills;
  • multi-format archiving and the multi-media dissemination of peoples’ stories.

The CPM is linked to the Department of Historical Studies and is a priority project of the Humanities Faculty.  

The CPM is also an innovative public service organisation, which disseminates stories through books, film documentaries, travelling exhibitions, radio programmes and the world-wide web.

The CPM audio-visual archive consists of both classic and digital archiving approaches, and our on-line database one of the first of its kind in Africa,  provides public and scholarly access to our archival collections.

As our mission statement states:

‘People in South Africa have a dynamic, but largely unrecorded heritage. The Centre creates spaces for these stories to be heard, seen and remembered.’



Featured Project: Street Stories

Preview of "Soweto sneezed... and then we caught the fever", part of the Street Stories project.

Street Stories is a six-part documentary series, created between 2005 and 2008. It focuses on life and work on three arterial corridors in Cape Town, namely Main, Klipfontein and Lansdowne Roads.

Read more about the project and view selected video clips plotted on a map

View the Street Stories catalogue

Copyright © Centre for Popular Memory 2007-2008