Michael Muti Etter-Phoya has been a part of Malawi and Africa’s open landscape since 2005, when he started ‘Portrait Malawi’, a repository for curating Malawi’s heritage. He has authored several books and has been involved in film projects. He is a former academic with Sara Lawrence College, where he taught Understanding Human Development in Malawi in Cultural and Historical Context.
His areas of interest include questions of public culture, heritage, and memory in Malawi (inspired by mentor and sometime collaborator Dr John Lwanda); impact of open technologies on Africa; and the status of Africa’s archival heritage. He is currently exploring possibilities of using social network analysis tools to visually map out effects of Malawi’s historical critical junctures. And as part of his MSc in Data Science with Edinburgh, he is exploring the theoretical potential of the role of ‘citizen historians’ in engaging the National Archives of Malawi using affordances of ICT against a backdrop of revaluing a post-colonial history.
He is part of Logos – Open Culture, a collective exploring ways of creating, expanding and enhancing stories about Malawi including its history and many contemporary realities. With Mona Hakimi, an Oxford-trained social anthropologist, he is currently digitising historical manuscripts at the National Archives of Malawi and prototyping a modern portal to house them.