About Project

This page is dedicated to sharing stories created and produced by participants in the British Academy-funded Interrogating Urban Crisis Representation and Response Project. The project explores local perspectives and experiences of diverse types of crises in urban areas, focusing on the lived experiences of marginalised communities. It seeks to understand how crisis representations and crisis responses are related, to assess the effectiveness of crisis responses, and to suggest improvements. Using storytelling and other qualitative methods, the project will compare representations and responses in four cities in South Africa and Colombia: Cape Town, Johannesburg, Cali and Buenaventura.

Purpose and Participant Profile 

In South Africa, the research project collaborated with three organisations – Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI), Project90by2030 (90by2030), and Equal Education (EE). We partnered with them as they met specific criteria: a) based in Cape Town or Johannesburg; b) engagement in crisis response, including challenges such as poverty, violence, disasters, or lack of energy; c) involvement with marginalised communities; and d) an expressed interest in partnership.

Cities and Story Formats:

Participants from Cape Town and Johannesburg have contributed to our collection of narratives, each offering a distinct glimpse into their experiences of crisis. The participants are members of the three partner organisations. While storytelling workshops were facilitated by staff from the University of the Western Cape and the University of Sheffield, the participants conceptualised, wrote and produced their own stories. 

The stories are presented in multiple formats, including engaging podcasts that capture the voices and emotions of the storytellers, captivating storybooks that visually depict their experiences, and a film visual that brings their narratives to life on screen. Through these diverse formats, the aim is to amplify the voices of our participants and foster empathy, understanding, and resilience in our communities.

Podcasts/Radio and Video Stories





TV Show Stories

Facilitators and Collaborators

South Africa Storytelling Workshop Facilitators:

Prof. Fiona Anciano, Co-Investigator, University of Western Cape, South Africa 
Dr. Henry Staples, Postdoctoral Research Associates (PDRA), University of Sheffield, UK
Babongile Bidla, Research Assistant, University of the Western Cape


Community-based Organisations (CBOs)/Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) collaborators:

Location: Johannesburg
Website: www.seri-sa.org

Location: Cape Town
Website: www.90by2030.org.za
Location: Cape Town