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Digital Diaries Project

The Saartjie Baartman Centre undertook a pilot digital diaries project during the period August – December 2010 with seed funding provided by Take Back the Tech Small Grants. Internationally known film maker Shelley Barry was contracted as facilitator and Irma Maharaj coordinated the project.

The process entailed weekly training and recording workshops for the duration of the project as well as regular private diary recordings by the eight participants, all of whom were residents at the Saartjie Baartman Centre. The women reported that recording their stories and their daily or weekly experiences of being at SBC were cathartic and helped with their healing process.

The process of making the documentary has been an amazing journey for all involved and the production of the DVD ‘Beyond the Shadow’ is a tremendous achievement. The film was launched at the Labia Theatre, Cape Town on 9 December 2010. Mbyiselo Botha from Sonke Gender Justice Network was the keynote speaker at the event.

The DVD will be used extensively for awareness raising and as part of the training of counsellors on a national and international level. The project and DVD will be the subject of a workshop, facilitated by SBC’s director, Synnøv Skorge, at Norway’s National Gender Conference in April 2011.