Lucy Campbell visits a Cape Town club and reports that descendants of slaves and indigenous people are treated with disdain.
OHASA and the promotion of intangible heritage in South Africa
The purpose of this article is to foreground the significance of intangible heritage in the work Oral History Association of South Africa ( OHASA ).
Developing a digitisation strategy for your institution
Without a strategy on digitisation, you are moving into the unknown and may be wasting valuable funds on digitisation that is not in line with your vision. It is important to know WHO will benefit from digitisation and HOW, and this article outlines the strategy as a series of choices and decisions that are made in framing a programme of digitisation. In essence, a strategy is a high-level vision of your institution as it moves (perhaps reluctantly) into the digital age.
A revolution for the intangible
Rahul Goswami argues that conventional economic growth and the ‘market’ are the enemies of intangible cultural heritage. But recognising the central role of ICH in helping communities adapt to scarcity and change will take more than a return to the drawing board of ‘development’.
A worldwide training programme on the intangible heritage convention
Harriet Deacon shares some of her experiences in conducting train the trainer workshops, and developing educational materials around the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Ten questions about the draft National Policy on the Digitisation of National Heritage Resources
Mak (from Makhado) poses some questions for the Department of Arts and Culture to answer.
Digitisation: the sanitisation of a colonial archive
Mona Hendricks reflects on the digitisation of rock art images from the Bleek-Lloyd collection and other sources and raises questions about the draft National Policy on the Digitisation of Heritage Resources.
Redefining our modes of access to information through digital technologies
Roger Layton notes that 2011 will be remembered as the year in which the true digital revolution began, and considers the implications of this for heritage practice.
Skattie, What Are You Wearing?: An archive of interesting personal style
An irreverent style blog is creating waves in the fashion and arts world, in the process destabilising our notions of what an archive is.
Studio as archive: The Kevin and Patricia Atkinson Archive
Stephen Croeser writes about the thought-provoking process of literally and figuratively unpacking “Plato’s Cave”, the archive of artists Kevin and Patricia Atkinson
Archivists Without Borders
Archivists without Borders Spain (AwB) is a on-profit organisation, based in Barcelona and made up of volunteers that collaborate in the development of cooperation projects and solidarity in the field of archival science and documentary heritage
International Centre for Transitional Justice: Memory & Justice website
A public space to debate and discuss how to memorialize past human rights abuse so that it will never again occur.
A site of interest for the human rights archivist, a nexus between information and social justice.
The Witness Blog
This month, instead of publishing guest posts, we've decided to share a couple of our favourite sites and initiatives you. Like the The WITNESS Blog and others that focus on the relationship between archives and human rights.What we like most about these sites is that they’re inspiring and they tell stories of initiatives that make a difference.
How - and why - do you archive heartbreak?
Mak (from Makhado) takes a break from the pressing issues of the day to mourn a lost love and nurse a broken heart. A visit to the online “Museum of Broken Relationships” sets him wondering about how and why people archive the bits and pieces associated with painful memories. Mak concludes that he’s do the same because these objects are the only hard evidence he has to show that the dream, which became a nightmare, once existed and that the cigarette box he treasures is not litter, it's the gateway to a memory he might one day want to reclaim. If his heart ever stops hurting.
International sports events and their documentary heritage
Shadrack Katuu considers the documentary heritage of the Winter Olympics held in Vancouver this year and asks what lessons South Africans can learn from the way in which the city processed the records relating to this event.
The secret life of museum objects
Mak (from Makhado) takes a fresh look at museum objects and wonders about the journey they’ve travelled to get there.
Knocking on ... mothers and daughters in struggle in South Africa
Shirley Gunn of the Human Rights Media Centre shares her experience of working with mothers and daughters in an intergenerational life story project.
Heritage obscured at the Nelson Mandela Gateway
Sandra Daniels looks at the physical impact of the 2010 FIFA World Cupâ„¢ on the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town.
I don’t get monuments
Mak (from Makhado) goes in search of monuments to local heroes, and gets confused.
A new spin on Lesotho heritage
Sebinane Lekoekoe describes the SEMPUCCCLE Project, and initiative dedicated to promoting Lesotho’s leadership history
Freedom of information: Why I’m not excited
The Memory Bandit offers a slightly jaundiced view on legislation that protects and facilitates access to information.
Do we have a Heritage Transformaton Charter, or not?
Gabriele Mohale interrogates the Heritage Transformation Charter and finds it wanting.
Why are there so few African properties on the World Heritage List?
Kaningu Kalume Tinga considers why Africa doesn’t feature prominently on the World Heritage List.
Heritage learnerships: A learner’s view
Sipokazi Nhanhana reflects on her experiences at the Red Location Museum.
Making museum memories: Museum education in the spotlight
Helen Joannides reminds us of the important role that museums play in education and tells us about a new initiative to bring museum educators in the Western Cape together.
Recent additions to the the African Cultural Heritage Sites and Landscapes Database
Heinz Reuther describes recent studies undertaken by Zamani, a research group based at the University of Cape Town, and explains how the sophisticated 3D laser scans assist with the documentation and conservation of vulnerable heritage sites.
The World Oral Literature Project
Mark Turin and Imogen Gunn discuss the World Oral Literature Project, a global initiative to make endangered oral literature accessible.
Archives, knowledge and ownership
Kylie Thomas explores the 'difficult conversations'Â that Jane Andersen engages in around the issues of about indigenous knowledge, archives and the legacy of colonial power.
On Looking and Not Looking
Gabeba Baderoon responds to Minister Lulu Xingwane's comments on the Innovative Women art exhibition.
Refocusing on learners
Juanita Pastor-Makhurane discusses the importance of refocusing on learners in heritage learnerships.
Transforming Arms into Plowshares
Amy Schwartzott discusses a Mozambican project's use of recycled weapons to memorialize past wars.
Rediscovering Minerva: heritage and economics
Thomas Gstraunthaler reports on the first SA conference on cultural organizations in times of economic crisis.
Zimbabwe’s experience implementing the 2003 Convention on Intangible Heritage
Stephen Chifunyise explains how Zimbabwe has been implementing UNESCO's Convention on Intangible Heritage at national level.
City Museums and Urban Development
Patrick Abungu, recently a MA student at the Reinwardt Academy in Amsterdam, comments on the role of a city museum using examples from Africa and Europe.
Diary of a recent graduate
Sebinane Lekoekoe reflects on his experience of completing a postgraduate diploma in Museum and Heritage Studies at the University of the Western Cape and discusses how he intends to use these newly acquired skills to promote heritage in Lesotho.
Subtle Thresholds: a few intentions
Fritha Langerman discusses her latest exhibition at the Iziko South African Museum, Subtle Thresholds.
Is the heritage sector ready for 2010?
Elizabeth Ouma of the National Museums of Kenya reflects on how heritage organisations are responding to the oppurtunities posed by the FIFA World Cup.
Representing female initiation in Namibia as a 'harmful traditional practice'
Heike Becker comments on the link between the representation of female initiation in Namibia as a Harmful Traditional Practice (HTP) and the discourse of modernity.
Archiving the East Coast
Niall McNulty blogs about two projects in KwaZulu-Natal that collect and disseminate heritage in unique ways.
Naming the African: questions of identity, tradition and history
Enocent Msindo comments that in many histories colonialism is represented as summarily replacing existing African systems with invented artificial ones. He asks how the debate about hybridity and changing African traditions should be taken into account in the recent debate over the naming of Africans.
Culture, A Blanket of Thorns
Male circumcision has recently been in the spotlight because of the possibility of reducing HIV risk, but there has also been concern about the reportedly increasing number of deaths associated with traditional male circumcision in southern Africa. Thando Mgqolozana, author of the controversial novel, A Man Who is Not A Man, reflects on the tension between cultural practice and human rights in traditional African male circumcision. The debate is an important one, albeit a sensitive and difficult one, and it requires a considered response by the heritage and archive sector.
Reflections on South Korea's 1962 heritage scheme
Roald Maliangkay comments on the success of South Korea’s comprehensive heritage scheme which emphasises safeguarding folk traditions through designation and financial support.
Policy development challenges for the digitisation of African Heritage and Liberation Archives
It seems astonishing but, up until the First International Conference on African Digital Libraries and Archives (ICADLA-1) which took place in the United Nations Conference Centre, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 1-3 July 2009, there has never been a continent-wide discussion on policy frameworks and notions of partnerships in relation to the digitization of African heritage and resources or dialogue on a way forward for the development of a digitization agenda.
History-in-motion: Craft as living heritage
Erica Elk, the manager of a craft development institute firmly rooted in the contemporary world, talks about craft as living heritage. I see craft as a process and not an object. For me it is about the process of production that involves the hand (and some tools) and the imagination. There are two, interlinked, things happening here…
Art, Heritage or Craft?
The theme of Heritage Month 2009 is craft. Nessa Leibhammer considers the traditional southern African collection at the Johannesburg Art Gallery and asks the question, ‘Was this material ever 'craft' and what is its relationship to craft in the past and today?’
Treatment Literacy: The Siyayinqoba Beat It! AIDS archive
AIDS and the struggle for access to treatment has defined the notion of a progressive politics based on the constitutional promise to realise a whole range of social and economic rights - not least being the right to health, which is fundamental to the rights to life and dignity. An AIDS archive is essential to chart the history of changing perceptions of and reactions to the pandemic in South Africa, and to inform treatment literacy programs. Such an archive, with full online access, is in the making, comprising over 3000 hours of tape produced by the Community Media Trust for the Siyayinqoba Beat It! Television programme. In this archive, generations of researchers and video makers will find an invaluable resource which indexes the real meaning of the changes induced by the epidemic and its response.
The Archives Advisory Council: a chequered past, with hope for the future?
Verne Harris reviews the history of the Archives Advisory Council, outlines weaknesses in the past and underlines the importance of making strong nominations to the Council before 28 August. The National Archives Advisory Council is the successor structure to the National Archives Commission, which was established in terms of the 1996 National Archives of South Africa Act. The architects of this legislation were mindful of the need to create new management and oversight structures for the National Archives which took into account the fact that at that point it was little more than the old apartheid-era State Archives Service with a new name. One of the key mechanisms for providing the post-1994 ANC-led government with watchdog and public accountability capacities in relation to the transformation of the National Archives was the National Archives Commission.
Who are we training? And for what purpose?
Deirdre Prins-Solani of CHDA shares a few thoughts on ecological thinking and heritage training on the African continent. The ability of the baobab tree to grow, thrive and survive is surely a combination of a number of environmental, social, cultural and unknown factors. The rains, the sun, the nutrition in the soil, the quality of air, the protection of them because of their cultural purpose, the uses of the tree from food to bowl. When one imagines the ecosystem which creates and sustains such life through centuries of change which has been mediated either by humankind and natural phenomena, the value of these lessons can certainly be applied to the nature and notion of 'training' within the heritage sector on the African continent.
A workshop on Digital Resource Management
DISA (Digital Innovation South Africa) recently hosted a 2.5 day workshop in Durban with the aim of providing a comprehensive overview of the nuts and bolts required for the successful management of digital resources. The opening address was delivered by Professor Nelson Ijumba, Vice-Chancellor of Research at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Patricia Liebetrau reports.