This collection contains oral narratives that document the life history of South African squatter women involved in movements for urban survival (in particular, housing) over the last 40 years by linking and comparing two moments of collective organizing by African women in the shack and township settlements of Crossroads in Cape Town. The role, power, and subsequent demise of African women's leadership in Cape Town s informal settlements is a central theme in these interviews.
By Matt-80 (Own work) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
During the liberation war, particularly between 1974 and 1980, thousands of rural people, mostly women and children, fled from the war-torn countryside of Zimbabwe to the sanctuary of Harare (the capital city) where they lived in zvikweshe shelters (plastic shacks) in an open space at the Mbare Musika long-distance bus termini. Throughout that war, women found themselves squeezed between a repressive colonial government and coercive nationalist guerrilla armies. War-induced violence led to massive displacement throughout the country as rural people fled to the safety of urban centres where they lived as squatters.
By Matwin2015 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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These transcribed interviews are primary sources. They contain "raw" data that you need to interpret and deconstruct. Here are some tips for mindful research strategies.