𝗖𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗯𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗪𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗻 𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗞𝘄𝗮𝗭𝘂𝗹𝘂-𝗡𝗮𝘁𝗮𝗹 𝗠𝘂𝘀𝗲𝘂𝗺 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗲𝘅𝗰𝗲𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗱𝗼.
𝗤: 𝗧𝗲𝗹𝗹 𝘂𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗮 𝗯𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗳 𝗱𝗲𝘀𝗰𝗿𝗶𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗿𝗼𝗹𝗲 𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗠𝘂𝘀𝗲𝘂𝗺.
A: My name is Chiara Singh and I’m currently working as a Project Assistant in the Department of Human Sciences. The department works towards the promotion and conservation of a large anthropology and archaeology collection by documenting and researching as much as we can about every object and artefact we have.
𝗤: 𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝗯𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗯𝗶𝗴𝗴𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗵𝗶𝗴𝗵𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗹𝘀𝘁 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗞𝘄𝗮𝗭𝘂𝗹𝘂-𝗡𝗮𝘁𝗮𝗹 𝗠𝘂𝘀𝗲𝘂𝗺?
A: I have worked on a few projects since I joined the Museum but two projects stand out for me, which I am currently working on in conjunction with Dr Justine Wintjes under the African Digital Humanities programme: the Five Hundred Year Archive and Metsemegologolo. The Five Hundred Year Archive convenes digital resources online for the study of pre-colonial history in the KZN region. Metsemegologolo (meaning ‘ancient towns’ in Setswana) is a linked project that seeks to promote understanding of precolonial African urbanisms. Both projects are experimental and their websites are in development, so watch this space!
It’s very exciting for us because we get to see some of the earliest objects in our collection displayed online where they can be engaged with by a wider audience. Dr Wintjes and myself have worked towards building these online curations for academics and the general public to explore and interact with. These two projects have been the biggest highlight for me in terms of personal, departmental, and museum achievements. I have gained a lot of experience and we are learning so much as a department about digitization and online databases and how that will help the KwaZulu-Natal Museum in the near future.
𝗤: 𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗮𝗱𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝘄𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗴 𝘄𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘄𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝘂𝗿𝘀𝘂𝗲 𝗮 𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗲𝗿 𝗶𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗳𝗶𝗲𝗹𝗱 𝗼𝗳 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸?
A: The best advice that I can give to any young woman who would like to become an archaeologist or anthropologist is to follow your passion and believe in yourself and your capabilities because that will always show in the work that you do. There will always be people who believe in you in this line of work and the opportunities might take a while to arrive but once they do, there will be nothing to stop you from persevering.