About Us

CAMA (Contemporary African Music & Arts) Archive is a multi-media documentary initiative for African arts and culture, based in the Faculty of Science and Montebello Design Centre at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Since its inception in 1995, under directorship of its founder, John Turest-Swartz, CAMA has sought to develop a pan-African mass-accessible arts and culture archive, and through this, the means to acknowledge creativity in the arts in Africa on a continental scale.

CAMA is engaged in the ongoing development of tools and strategies in pursuit of its documentary and archival objectives in the promotion of knowledge about African culture. The CAMA Archive Project focuses on documenting and disseminating audio-visual materials about the lives and work of artists, musicians and others who create culture in Africa. Using ICT in an African context, CAMA also seeks to promote a broader knowledge of African culture through facilitating the documentation and dissemination of the wealth of materials from existing holdings within African cultural institutions.

CAMA developed a computer-based “context” focussing primarily on African music, art and ethnography. This development culminated in our largest initiative to date, the establishment of the Culture Africa Network Project – CAN.