Prestwich Place Memorial: Human remains, development and truth
Xolelwa Kashe-Katiya reports on the debate around human remains and developments in the ossuary in which these remains are housed.

Editor’s Note, June 2010
Your guide to what’s new on the website this month!

The proposed Sector Education and Training Authority Landscape
Xolelwa Kashe-Katiya configures some implications of proposals to reconfigure the SETAs.

2010 FIFA World Cup: Proudly South African
Jo-Anne Duggan reflects on issues of representation and identity as the country celebrates the 2010 FIFA World Cup™

2010 FIFA World Cup at the South End Museum
Uthando Baduza discusses an exhibition that focuses on Danny Jordaan and his contribution.

Editor’s Note, May 2010
This month we celebrate International Museum Day.

Struggles over land continue in the heritage arena: More questions than answers
Uthando Baduza addresses the conflicting claims of heritage and communities over land.

In conversation with Noni Ntaka
Thokozani Mhlambi interviews the curator of a new exhibition dealing with the history of South African music.

Archive as museum?
Jo-Anne Duggan reflects on a new generation of museums that make use of material traditionally housed in the archive as a basis for displays and programmes.

Why bother with Twitter?
Harriet Deacon comments on why the Archival Platform uses Twitter.

Editors Note: April 2010
Heritage has made the headines this month locally and internationally and there are a number of interesting opportunities to pursue.

Death and the Archives in South Africa Today
Thokozani Mhlambi contemplates the consequences of death for the project of historical memory.

The SETA funding model for skills development: Challenges facing the heritage sector
Xolelwa Kashe-Katiya describes the SETA model for skills development and the challenges that this poses for the heritage sector

Involving archive users in digitising archival collections
Harriet Deacon suggests that involving archive users in digitizing archival collections potentially assists archives and improves public engagement with them.

Heritage or hate speech?
This month's Archival Platform blog looks at the furore surrounding the singing of a struggle song, which includes the words, Dubul' ibhunu (shoot the Boers), and the consequent debates on the heritage of hate speech currently raging in the media.

The Archival Platform has a new Director
Harriet Deacon says goodbye (sort of) and the new Director, Jo-Anne Duggan, says hello…

Editor's note, March 2010
So far, 2010 seems to have been characterised by crisis in the archive/heritage sector.

Unite and organise
Perhaps we should listen to President Zuma's call for artists to 'unite and give government an organised structure to work with', and apply it to the archive and heritage sector.

How should we continue to remember forced removals?
Uthando Baduza suggests that institutions like museums should address current socio-economic challenges.

Editor's note, Feb 2010
Now that some of those 2010 resolutions have already been broken, there is room for more.

Increased access to classified state archives
Harriet Deacon reflects on the value of increased access to classified state archives.

Editor's note
2010 will be concerned not just with the World Cup but also with issues such as digitisation, repatriation, and education in the archive and heritage sector.

Editor's Note: December 2009
This month, we focus on family history, memorialisation and intangible heritage.

South Africa's role in the UNESCO Convention on Intangible Heritage
SA was one of the 120 countries who voted for the Convention's adoption in 2003 but we will be among the last to ratify.

Editor's Note: November 2009
This month an exciting smorgasbord of blogs, prizes and more.

The Archival Platform feels the pulse of the sector
In the last few months the Archival Platform has been feeling the pulse of the South African memory sector. Now we have a chance to report back on what you have been saying.

The Politics of Memory
As memory workers we have to represent the past in very self-critical and self-aware ways. But we have a difficult mandate. On the one hand, we need to encourage the broadest possible public dialogue and debate about often traumatic pasts. On the other hand, we are aware of the need to foster social cohesion and reconciliation, and to play a role as social activists.

Stand up for arts and culture
Arts and culture matters in society, not just for recreation but for education, health, equality, citizenship and democracy. How should we stand up for it?

Are the heritage learnerships working?
Uthando Baduza writes that we cannot just leave it up to the MAPP-SETA, in the case of the heritage sector, to take the lead in the developing of training interventions. The development of curricula has to also take cognisance of the ever evolving heritage landscape and be responsive to the skills needs of the sector.

Arms' length, hands on, blinkers off
Launching our "Letters for Lulu" campaign this week prompts us to reflect on the mandate of the state in the management of the South African archive, our heritage. How we manage our archive affects our identity, our account of ourselves and how we can respond to the opportunities of the future. The archive is particularly important in a country like ours with a highly contested and conflictual past, in a old continent accused so long by the West of being 'without a history'. Our archive and heritage sector is in crisis. What will you do about it?

Post-colonial revival: Bow, Women & Song
A women's day event, 'Bow, Women & Song', poses questions about new representations of indigenous music. Bow songs document significant moments in our history, including early encounters with Europeans, migrations to urban areas and the brutalities of our past laws. But bow songs also convey something more intimate, they sing of lost love by young women, children's sleeping songs and travel-tunes of working men.

"Letters for Lulu": taking the pulse of the sector
Heritage Month is a time of reflection on the past and planning for the future. We believe in the desire of the newly elected government to listen to the people and improve service delivery. In addressing problems and grasping new opportunities in Arts and Culture, what needs to be done, and by whom? In the spirit of "Tips for Trevor", write your "Letter for Lulu", the Honourable Minister Lulu Xingwana, and tell her what you think about the state of the heritage and archive sector. Email all scanned letters to and contact us to post us the originals. At the end of heritage month we will deliver them all to the Minister and follow up on the issues raised.

Platform provides new opportunities for participatory democracy in arts and culture
Political analyst Richard Calland (Mail & Guardian, July 24) described the current political environment in South Africa as providing opportunities for participatory democracy that had been increasingly lacking under former president Thabo Mbeki. He pointed to a high level glasnost in politics, a new conviviality and openness under President Jacob Zuma, in spite of accountability and implementation problems in the nether regions of government. At the same time, after the 2007 ANC national conference in Polokwane, there has been a new effort, spearheaded by party secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, to bring ANC policy closer to government.

Investing in arts and culture
Jared Diamond's fabulous book Collapse, looks at why some societies collapsed in the past because of injudicious use of their resources. He talks about the Nordic Greenlanders who spent most of their export income on fancy imported European materials for their churches, and much of their local resources on raising beef, rather than learning to eat local foods like the Inuit. This is what finally did it for them, when their connections by boat with Europe were disrupted, although in the meantime it probably kept them going as a community for about 500 years.

Encyclopaedia of South African Arts and Culture
I found this link today - looks like a most interesting initiative in KZN. The Encyclopaedia of South African Arts and Culture is a major multi-year project of national significance that aims to produce multi-volume, multi-media work of encyclopaedic scope that will encompass the verbal, performing and visual arts as well as many expressions of South African cultural heritage. Cultural literacy in our plural society, cultural industry and cultural diplomacy will benefit from the availability of user-friendly information the Encyclopaedia will supply, in its electronic and print forms.

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