1. Where do you work?
I work for the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory. It was originally Nelson Mandela’s post–presidential office, now a human rights-oriented NGO doing work in the memory-dialogue nexus.
2. How did you get there?
One step in a long journey with the concept of memory for justice. On another, more prosaic, level: while working at the University of the Witwatersrand I was asked to help fix Mandela’s archives.
3. What materials/collections do you work with?
I prefer ideas to materials to be honest. At the Centre’s custodial heart are Mandela’s private papers.
4. What impact do/should/could archives have on human rights?
In my understanding, the archive is the very possibility of politics. And therefore fundamental to a just politics and an environment hospitable to human rights.
5. Any advice for other/aspiring human rights archivists?
Avoid people who give advice.
FREEFORM: Anything you’d like to share with the Roundtable.
Anyone reading this sentence obviously didn’t take my answer to question 5 seriously. But an elaboration on a line from Leonard Cohen for activist archivists: there’s a crack in everything (that’s how the light gets in) – make it bigger.