Lost History Foundation (LHF) was established in the year 2017 in Malawi with an aim to dig, preserve and disseminate the history of Malawi which has either been incorrectly presented, distorted or hidden for various reasons.
The preservation and documentation of historical records and providing the public access to such historical materials is largely and traditionally considered as the sole responsibility of the state through the directorate of National Archives.
However, experience has revealed that Government monopoly on what is relevant history and what therefore should be stored or preserved, has led to a nation having people less aware of their past.
As Lost History Foundation, we believe that a properly curated and balanced trove of Historical data is a great platform for the shaping of the Nation’s great social and political destiny.
In this day and age of advanced information, communication and technology (ICT) which has exposed us to enormous amounts of useful data and information on a daily basis, this task can no longer lie on the shoulders of the state alone.
Against this backdrop, the Lost History Foundation (LHF) has launched a Programme called Citizens Archives. Through this project, the general public has the space and opportunity to play a critical role in archiving various materials from any current affairs which will be useful in the near future to answer some pertinent questions about the past.
The Citizens Archive will be a very useful platform for historical (social and political) research, clarifying many aspects of history. The Citizens Archive will also be a great resource of original content to artists (filmmakers, poets, painters etc), academics and any other enthusiasts.
LHF therefore calls upon the general public to collaborate in this effort to collect materials from past and current events for future historical use through this Citizens Archives Project.
What type of materials are to be archived?
- The Citizens Archive shall be an electronic Archive and shall contain documents, literature, photos, videos and audio recordings.
What type of content shall be Archived?
- Public events which happened or are happening in your community, town or elsewhere like sports events, weddings, festivals, funerals, or entertainment or religious gatherings, community meetings, political rallies etc any gatherings including relevant written materials;
- Past or present notable infrastructures or occurrences in your community or town or elsewhere including construction projects in progress, national monuments, natural features such as mountains, rivers, lakes, dams, forests etc including relevant written materials;
- Past or present natural disasters such as floods, heavy rains, accidents, disease epidemics of people, crops or animals including relevant written materials;
- Past or present recordings of individuals of historical or current significance/importance or who have interesting materials or stories pertaining to the history or development of Malawi who are residing in your community or elsewhere (upon their consent) including relevant written materials;
- Past or present Photos/videos/audios of any other places or things or occurrences of any significance to the history of Malawi including relevant written materials;
What do you require?
- No qualifications required;
- Possession of a mobile phone or any gadget that can take photos/videos and transmit them through WhatsApp or email or other online methods of transmitting data/information;
- Willingness to be part of noble efforts to collect and preserve the History of Malawi;
- Ability to provide brief and clear narrations of the videos/audios and captions to the photos and acknowledge the source.
When to start?
- Any person interested to contribute to
The Citizens Archives can start collecting the materials with immediate effect
and send them to the following:
- by WhatsApp to the Citizens Archive Coordinator, Conleith Selenje: +265 888 388 044.
- By email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
- For any assistance or enquiries you can call the same number given above or e-mail: email@example.com
When will the Citizens Archive be Open to the Public?
- The Citizens Archive will become accessible to the general public after two years (September 2021). We need this time so as to allow the archive to be curated and an open online platform to be created for easy access to the public. This process needs funding which we are currently in the process of sourcing;
- However, the process of collecting and curating the materials shall be going on forever and always adding to the richness of the Citizens Archive.
Issued on 11th September 2019.