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Matseliso Motsoane is a PhD candidate at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, an emerging researcher and curator.
She is currently conducting research on the photographic archive of Mohloua Ramakatane, a Mosotho photographer who worked between Lesotho and South Africa from the1950s- 2000s.
Her research interests are in African archives, and their position as heritage objects and sites for engagement on issues of decolonizing history and the archive.
Matseliso also writes about postcoloniality, African modernity and the politics of archives and heritage objects in the context of both institutional and private custodianship.
Digitisation, Access and the Politics of Collaboration
In this presentation Matseliso, a PhD candidate in history speaks about the challenges and possibilities that emerged from digitising a private photographic archive. She sheds light on the complexities of working with funding from Western cultural institutions in digitisation projects. In 2020-2021 Matseliso worked as an assistant curator and researcher for the archiving and digitisation of Mohloua T. Ramakatane’s photographic collection. This project was supported by Lesotho’s Ministry of Culture as part of an on going effort to launch the Lesotho National Museum, as well as the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). This experience presented a number of possibilities for public access, research and curatorial practice with regards to African photographic archives.