1. Who is African Digital Heritage?
We are a non-profit organisation, working to encourage a more critical, holistic, and knowledge-based approach in the design and implementation of digital solutions within African heritage. We use technology to digitise assets and for digital engagement and storytelling.
Our women-led and powered team is made of professionals in archaeology, anthropology, research, history, digital humanities, philosophy, development, communications, and outreach. They help us explore the cross-sections of societal evolution, history, technology, and African cultural heritage.
Our focus areas include:
- Digitisation: We create sustainable, engaging digitization solutions that factor in historical legacies, digital infrastructure and the needs of African collections, as in the case of the Digitisation of Gede Ruins.
- Innovation: We imagine alternate realities and visualise history in interactive, immersive ways. In 2018, together with their partners the Museum of British Colonialism, we began creating digital models and renderings of British concentration camp villages in Kenya. Since building this digital archive, this history has reached a wider, intergenerational audience in both academic and non-academic circles.
- Research: we embed our practice within research and co-creation with cultural sector practitioners, communities and stakeholders.
- Capacity Building. We show up as educators in an effort to translate cultural heritage for the current and future generations.
2. What is digital heritage?
Digital heritage is the use of digital media to help us understand, preserve, and share cultural (tangible assets such as visual art, food, clothing, and styles of architecture and intangible assets such as oral history, music, and values) and natural (significant landscapes, and biodiversity) heritage.
Why is it important? (especially in Africa);
Africa’s cultural heritage has been plundered and diluted-causing fractures in our identity. Digitisation can empower us to look at issues such as restitution as an opportunity to reimagine and claim the cycle of building culture, creating and grounding in meaning and memory, safekeeping it for generations to come, through our own cultural contexts. Digitising our heritage will broaden access to important cultural assets, help protect the safety of the original material, provide new options for research, and create opportunities for interrogation, cultural engagement, and new creations.
We believe it is our collective responsibility to properly preserve and examine our cultural heritage for future generations.
3. Where are you based?
We are based in Nairobi, Kenya. However, our efforts, activities and collaborations span the globe, though rooted in Africa.
4. How can individuals contribute to your work?
We are always interested in emerging topics, new theories, or explorative research. We are therefore open to reviewing and potentially championing voluntary research papers and materials that are in line with our focus areas.
Mobilisation and Outreach
If you are as passionate about culture and heritage as we are, then help us reach more people. You can share our initiatives, events, and announcements with your network and on your social media platforms. You can also talk about our work to your peers or colleagues and encourage them to find out more about why we do what we do.
This is a less structured and academic way of contributing to the digitisation of cultural heritage. Point us to the cultural aspects in your community or environment that would benefit from documentation, exploration, or preservation e.g local folktales, landmarks, dying dialects, etc, and we’ll share it with our community. What may seem ordinary to you might turn out to be a rare piece of history.
5. How can Organisations or Institutions support your work?
Donor Funding and or Project Sponsorships
The scope of our work is wide and resource intensive and because we are not a commercial enterprise, we rely on donor funding and sponsorships to keep our operations going. If you are interested in supporting us financially or in-kind, write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Partnerships and Collaborations
In such a dynamic space, it is important to form partnerships and collaborate with other like-minded organisations. We can sync our networks, resources, and knowledge to build projects, initiatives, and best practices. We can also ideate and innovate sustainable solutions towards existing challenges and further research in the field.
We would appreciate the opportunity to speak to your audiences, take part in your academic panels, and or address your stakeholders. Invite us to educate, participate, and co-create- helping us boost the visibility and reach of our work would provide immeasurable support.