Looking Back with Gratitude and Forward with Hope

It’s been a big year—well, a big 9 months—for Frame45. 

We’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on the year just gone and dream a little about the year to come. 

Your inbox is probably bursting with newsletter’s just like this one so we won’t keep you long. 

Unsurprisingly, it’s been an interesting year for those of us in the migration and urbanisation fields. In the wake of a globally patchy vaccine rollout and the subsequent emergence of several COVID variants, we have witnessed shifting approaches to travel and border management as well as city planning and development. 

The Frame has covered all kinds of topics. We discussed our approach to knowledge production and dissemination, policy writing versus research writing, in Issue 2. In our third issue, focusing on a research paper by Caroline and some of our esteemed associates, we examined spatial justice in the context of COVID-19. Next, we explored what a green recovery might look like in cities across the developing world. Issue 5 addressed our approach to organisational ecosystems, the network of organisations and individuals to be leveraged in pursuit of social change. Most recently, we discussed possibilities for transformative storytelling. In the future, we intend to properly introduce our incredible team of associates with a glimpse into the work they’ve done and continue to do.

Speaking of moving forward into the new year, it’s important to us to express our gratitude to all those who have made the past year a success.

In June of this year, after months of planning, we launched our website and social media. What it takes to get even as far as that is not always visible, often by design. No one wants to see the endless email chains and Zoom calls and Canva draft folders that precipitate a successful start-up launch. It was Kiran Glass who got us through the worst of it, keeping us on time and on schedule. Herself getting ready to move across the country to start university, Kiran greased the wheels of Frame45’s small but vital infrastructure. A big shout out to her, then, as the year comes to a close! To Katja, who started our newsletter, and pushed tirelessly to get our website going and make us visible in the world of social media, a heartfelt thanks! And for Earl Daniels, without whom there would be no website at all, our deepest gratitude.

Helping us to construct our presence, our brand, was Fred Swart. From the beginning, we wanted our love of visual storytelling to be clear not only in our content but in the way we presented ourselves—to walk the walk, so to speak. In this article we introduced Fred and his process, the way he went about crafting our visual language. His work has been essential as we’ve gone about perfecting our look and we are very excited to say our collaboration has only just begun. 

Meanwhile, our incredible associates, Hellen Zziwa, Aditya Sarkar, Tanya Pampalone, David Ndegwa, Sumayya Vally, Regina Kihato and Loren Landau, have been with us every step of the way. Their behind-the-scenes support, time, and advice over the last year and a half has been invaluable. 

Besides our own team, we’ve had the privilege of working with a number of incredible organisations over the year. Including an ongoing collaboration with the African Futures Institute, we’re working with partners across the sector on reframing the narrative around migration and urbanisation in the global south. Although we will write more about the projects we have been involved with in the new year, we’d like to thank our partners: Open Society Foundation’s Africa Regional Office, Cities Alliance, Red Mangrove Development Advisors, the French Development Agency, Open Society South Africa, and the African Centre for Migration in Society at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Finally, before we go, we’d like to thank you! Over time, we have gathered a growing band of loyal readers to our cause. That, building a sense of community, is why we do what we do. To make space for critical and dissenting voices, to gather like minded individuals and share our knowledge. We’re here for you

Setting our 2022 intentions: 

That’s it for 2021. We wish you and your families a peaceful and heartful new year. 

See you all on the other side!