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May 5, 2014

Imbiza 1.0: It’s Just the Beginning!

May 5, 2014 | By | No Comments

Ke nako!  Imbiza 1.0: A Digital Repository of the 2010 World Cup is now live and can be found at imbiza.matrix.msu.edu!

Imbiza is a digital repository of over 500 photos and videos related to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.  I have compiled materials for nearly every day of the tournament, and sources that are representative of all but two of the nations that competed in 2010.  The project also contains some thematic galleries, which arrange some of these photos according to certain aspects of the tournament that I hope to extrapolate on in future versions of the project (more on this below).

While some of these materials have been seen before on blogs (like the Other Football, One Man and His Football, and Football Is Coming Home), some of this content has never been made publicly available before (for example, many of Chris Bolsmann’s photos had not been published before).  These materials were solicited, mainly, through social networking.  The process of compiling this repository was highly collaborative; as I have referred to it before, Imbiza is “digital, from top to bottom.”  From its conceptualization during a Football Scholars Forum session to the solicitation of materials through Twitter, listservs, and blog posts, Imbiza had been a highly collaborative project.  Imbiza has demonstrated to me just how much potential digital networks hold for collaborative knowledge production, not only in terms of this tournament, but for a variety of academic endeavors.

In addition to showing me the value of collaborative knowledge production, the process of developing Imbiza has also taught me a lot about project management.  From our very first CHI meeting, Ethan Watrall emphasized the importance of managing our time, resources, and, perhaps most of all, our expectations for our CHI projects.  I started this fellowship year without even a project idea, then went through the ups and downs of conceptualizing a major project, realizing I couldn’t achieve it in time, scrambling to try to make something work that absolutely could not, and, finally, coming to terms with the realization that I would have to debut an incomplete project.  I’m sure that I will continue to deal with the same issues as I conceptualize future projects (digital or not) so the lessons I have learned through this process will continue to be useful.  Speaking of not presenting the project I originally conceived of…

Though this is not the project that I originally proposed, it is (as the name suggests) just the first version of a project that I plan to continue expanding on in the coming months.  As I collected sources for this project, I realized that I had bitten off more than I could chew by the project deadline.  So, in order to present a coherent repository, I decided to focus solely on videos and photos, since these objects provide an opportunity to elicit nostalgia about the event, as well as a medium through which to begin to critically analyze the tournament.  But I have a wealth of other sources waiting to be organized and catalogued, a project that I will embark on in a few weeks.  I also intend to collect some oral testimonies of individuals who attended the event, adding a critical layer to what I hope will become a substantial, comprehensive archive of the World Cup.  I hope to have a new project plan for Imbiza 2.0 in the coming months, so stay tuned!

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