8115vilakazi.org is an interactive archive and website about the Nelson Mandela House and the surrounding architecture through the theories and methods of the spatial humanities. This site is an experimental design that uses Omeka, as an exhibition platform, to present artifacts and historical information, alongside a WordPress site, as a narrative platform, to give “life” to the images and to engage in spatial analysis. Through the use of scanned artifacts, interactive mapping and timeline usage, and 3-D modeling, micro-histories of Soweto will be narrated within the complex history of Johannesburg’s all-Black townships. In addition to the above-mentioned narrative style of 8115vilakazi.org, a sister site is also in the making with Sowetopedia.org, a Wikipedia-style site which will include articles on the history of the people and places in Soweto.  The end goal with this site is to connect these articles with the micro-histories of 8115Vilakazi.org to create a vibrant and interconnected narrative of Soweto, South Africa. Overall, this project has the aim to tell the story of  Soweto, South Africa narrowly, and Johannesburg’s all-Black townships as a whole, crafting a story of Social Justice through Digital Humanities.

Talia Vaughan