About turning data into art


Have you ever considered translating your research into music or other forms of art?

Caroline Wanjiku Kihato speaks about how she collaborated with artists to turn stories from her book “Migrant Women of Johannesburg: Life in an in-between City” into a musical composition.

Titled “You Will Find Your People Here”, the exhibition at the La Biennale Architettura 2023, is a collaborative of performance, film, composition and artwork by pianist Mareli Stolp (South Africa), sociologist Caroline Wanjiku Kihato (Kenya), composer Clare Loveday (South African) and artist Sedinam Awo Tsegah (Ghana).

The project is part of curator’s special project Gender and Geography. The show opens on the 18th May and can be seen until November, 2023.

The work is based on Caroline Kihato’s book, Migrant Women of Johannesburg: Everyday Life in an in-between City, (Wits University Press) which explored the lives of women from different parts of the continent who came to live in Johannesburg. It was transformed into a composition by Clare Loveday. Mareli Stolp performed the music at William Kentridge and Bronwyn Lace’s Centre for the Less Good Idea in July 2022, before being chosen for the Biennale. Awo Tsegah joined the project, providing the fabric maps and artwork for the exhibition.

Follow this link to learn more about the exhibition at the Venice Biennale:

Visit the project website here:

Follow this link to Caroline’s book : searchworks.stanford.edu/view/10411672

Funding declaration:
Mellon Foundation, Mobility, temporality, and Africa’s future politics project, at the University of the
Witwatersrand (Grant Number 1804-05760)
The African Centre for Migration and Society, University of the Witwatersrand
The Migration Governance Lab, University of the Witwatersrand and Oxford University
African Futures Institute, Accra Ghana.

Dr Caroline Wanjiku Kihato is a Visiting Researcher at Oxford University’s Department of International Development and at Wits University, Johannesburg. She is also a Global Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington DC. Her research focuses on migration, gender, governance, and African urbanization.

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Fiona Seiger, Kate Dearden, Asya Pisarevskaya, Milena Belloni, Sarah Vancluysen, and Roos Derrix
About us
With one new release every month, our episodes will feature people engaged in research all around the world, and across various career stages.