Home Institution

St. Edward's University

Publication Date

Spring 2013

Program Name

South Africa: Social and Political Transformation


This ISP is a departure from the usual format. After gathering information from the MPTT, experiencing an exhumation, and interviewing relatives of two disappeared individuals – I endeavored to write a fictional four part story inspired by the previously mentioned activities. Although much of my project is heavily based on factual information, I utilized a creative license to create a story that also explores my journey as an observer, participant, and interviewer.

As previously mentioned the main methodology utilized was interviews. Other methodologies employed included observation, participation, and information gathered from secondary sources (for example, the MPTT’s files on missing individuals). My work may be fictional, but while writing it, it was essential to respectfully and accurately represent all the individuals who are discussed and from whom information was gathered.

My ISP journey has been a very organic one. At the beginning of the process I believed that my final product would read more like a narrative. As I began interviewing family members of the disappeared it became very clear to me that owing to the time constraint of my project and the fact that many of the people whom I wanted to interview were deceased or missing, a narrative format was not feasible. I then decided that instead of telling a narrative, I would create a piece of fiction shaped by what I have encountered during my ISP process.


Family, Life Course, and Society | Inequality and Stratification | Race and Ethnicity | Social and Cultural Anthropology


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