The core objectives of the project was to develop a network of partners to inform a city led response to migration and inclusion in Durban, as well as develop a strategic report that focused on social inclusion and participation for the city of Durban. The project was designed with three interrelated components:
- Research and engagement processes on the experiences of migrant women in Durban, both South African and from other African countries, using oral histories, interviews and dialogue sessions.
- Develop a network of partners who can inform a city led response to migration in Durban that focuses on social inclusion and participation.
- Design and run a multi-tiered educational and awareness strategy, including radio shows and community theatre, that actively works at shifting problematic and xenophobic sentiment towards migrants and those seen as ‘foreign’.
The project brought together experienced academics, civil society activists as well as a collective grouping representing migrants from 15 African countries that live and work in Durban. It used creative methods of storytelling (oral histories, radio scripts and community participatory theatre) to directly influence municipal knowledge on practices and policy discussions around social integration and inclusion of migrants in the city. These methodologies brought together diverse stakeholders in a way that both informs, and asks difficult questions of decision makers on inclusive urban planning. The starting point for these discussions was not the usual debates on best practices or policy instruments, but rather on listening to the experiances and narratives of migrant women in the city. These narratives raise questions and possibilities for rethinking city-led strategies for building a more inclusive city for all.