As the May 2nd launch date approaches, I find myself surprised at how much this project has changed (and changed again, then changed again) since the original idea emerged in an October 2013 Session of the Football Scholars Forum. Originally, I planned on a project that focused solely on the stadiums and fan parks, but now I am working on a project that will encompass the entire tournament; not only the stadiums and fan parks, but also the fans, the sounds, the writings, and, most importantly, the football.
What really changed my vision for this project was the content that I received. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I called for submissions to my “tweeps” (and the “tweeps” of “tweeps” who were kind enough to retweet) but I got much more than I ever imagined. This reaction showed me not only the wealth of material that was available (even if I had to dig to find it), but also that there was a desire to historicize the 2010 tournament; to archive the experience of the tournament for future scholars, fans, and interested parties to be able to relive just a fraction of the madness, exhilaration and realities of this global sporting event.
Phase I (Academic Year 2013-2014): This is the project you will see on May 2nd. This phase of the project will present the photos and videos that I have gathered from various sources to give a sense of the atmosphere of the tournament. They have been catalogued utilizing KORA (and the Dublin Core standards) and I am currently in the process of moving them to the WordPress platform, where they will be organized by location and theme. This iteration of the site will be more of a curated gallery than the full project that I envision presenting by Spring 2015.
Phase II (Summer 2014): I will be traveling to South Africa this summer. I hope to collect more materials while I am in South Africa, not only pictures, videos, and texts, but I also hope to begin collecting oral histories of individuals who attended the tournament (or experienced it in anyway). In collecting these testimonies (and later digitizing them), I hope to add an additional layer of texture to my archive of the World Cup, cataloging not only scholars’ experiences, but also the experiences of fans and laypeople who experienced the World Cup in a variety of ways. During this time, as the 2014 World Cup kicks off in Brazil, I will also be archiving this tournament through social media and digital publications. I’m not sure what I will end up doing with these materials, but, as I’ve found with trying to archive the 2010 World Cup, it’s much easier to gather these things as the event goes on than after the fact.
Phase III (Fall 2014): In the fall, I will take inventory of the new materials and contributions that I have collected. There are also a number of elements that I am not going to be able to include in this version of the project that I will be considering in this reorganization. I am also hoping to recruit some more members for my solo team, to not only enhance my productivity in cataloging the materials for Imbiza, but also to add their perspectives and approaches to this project. Additionally, I will be combing through what I imagine will be the huge amount of material that I collect on the World Cup in Brazil, considering if I will incorporate these into the final project or if this should comprise a separate archive all its own.
Phase IV (Spring 2015): I’m not sure yet what this phase of the project will look like. I’ll have a much better idea of this once I get through the next two phases of this project. But I imagine it will look quite similar to what you see below.
So, earlier this week I suffered a bit of a setback when I had to reinstall my WordPress database. I lost all of my content and had to rebuild my site, but, as I wrote on the Day of DH, I am confident that this latest iteration of my project will be the best one yet and it will only get better as it progresses. But, even if the project I launch on May 2nd, isn’t what I originally planned, this will not be the final statement on Imbiza. I have a vision. I have a plan to make that vision come to life. And I am determined to see it through.
As we say in isiZulu, Phambili (Forward)!