South African Cultural Observatory

New directions: Five years, five key goals

BY 27.09.18

PASSIONATE creative economy champion and researcher, Unathi Lutshaba, has been appointed Executive Director of the South African Cultural Observatory after a consortium of Universities led by Nelson Mandela University won a five year tender to ensure South Africa’s creative economy is well mapped, understood and analysed. Here are her five key goals for the next five years. 

New directions: Five years, five key goals

1.Finding new ways to talk creative economy

Firstly, my aim is to find a new language to discuss the economic crises of our times and include the creative economy in this new lexion. In the past, the cultural and creative industries were not seen as mainstream contributors to the country’s economy. However, a study by the DAC through the Mzansi Golden Economy (2011) revealed what we now see and, as we rightfully claim, as one the fastest growing sectors in the South Africa.

2. A more visible, informed sector

Secondly, I’d like to dream erased voices back into being. Many practitioners and artists whom I’ve interacted with in the past two and half years across the country have often expressed that they have been denied access to the sector. They raise a number of issues, including not having access to information, basic information on how to grow and develop their talents and skills so that they can make a sustainable living from their creative work; how to protect their work from being stolen, reproduced and later sold back to them by those who have access to resources to do so; and how to ultimately access markets for their cultural goods.

3. Challenge and support 

Thirdly, through SACO I want to encourage the young people and researchers in the sector to express themselves honestly and I want to see SACO becoming that safe space which the sector can be transparent about the challenges it faces, allowing for the creative voices to be loud, vulnerable but beautiful. I’d like to create a platform where aspects pertaining to developments within the arts, heritage, creative and cultural sectors can be discussed constructively.

4. Thinking collectively 

Fourthly, the SACO runs a series of dissemination workshops around the country, one of our platforms for knowledge sharing. Through these workshops, SACO aims to encourage collective thinking by rebuilding a new space for the neglected voices and I want to contribute to achieving social cohesion in our country through collective thinking, whilst making people to confidently believe that the sector has something for them, that they are invited and welcome to make a meaningful contribution for society and for themselves.

5. Fresh perspectives drawing on heritage 

Lastly, as a young, black female leader in the cultural and creative industries, I have a big responsibility to model and lead the deep-rooted values left to us by those who have paved the way before.  This year, our country is celebrating the life and times of Mama Albertina Sisulu, a struggle stalwart and consequently I need to ensure that her values and many others are evident in how I conduct myself every day. Our pride in our cultures needs to extend beyond outfits when we  claim to be celebrating our heritage. Our culture also needs to be entrenched in how we build businesses of the future and this year's Heritage theme "advancing transformation of South Africa's heritage" echoes this sentiment.

 

Research is the word: What's done, what's to come Research is the word: What's done, what's to come

THE SOUTH African Cultural Observatory has a trove of research. Over the past three years we have generated research reports, monitoring and evaluation reports, a ground-breaking mapping study and more. We are intent on sharing this research widely and ensuring that the sector benefits, empowering through knowledge.

READ MORE
More News
Strauss & Co’s benchmark sale of contemporary art returns to the V&A Waterfront Strauss & Co’s benchmark sale of contemporary art returns to the V&A Waterfront

Strauss & Co is pleased to announce the second of its contemporary art sales, the only such sale in South Africa devoted exclusively to this exciting category. The announcement of this 107-lot sale, due to be held on 16 February during the run of the Investec Cape Town Art Fair (15 – 17 February), coincides with news that Jack Ginsberg, noted Johannesburg collector and philanthropist, has joined the board of Strauss & Co.

Original Woza Albert! Comes to State Theatre Original Woza Albert! Comes to State Theatre

Performers and storytellers extraordinaire, the dynamic and renowned original actors of the internationally acclaimed South African classic Woza Albert! Mbongeni Ngema and Percy Mtwa, together with their original crew, have regrouped to stage this world-class form of protest theatre once more, and they are headed to the South African State Theatre this March 2019.

World Leaders asked to protect workers in the face of artificial intelligence and automation World Leaders asked to protect workers in the face of artificial intelligence and automation

The International Labour Organisation (ILO), a specialized agency of the UN that sets labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men, has made a call on world leaders to protect workers and jobs in the face of artificial intelligence and automation.

Business and Arts South Africa Appoints New Marketing Coordinator Business and Arts South Africa Appoints New Marketing Coordinator

Starting off the year, Business and Arts South Africa NPC (BASA) appointed a new marketing coordinator to join their fast growing team at the Johannesburg office.

SACO recognized and cited by the UNCTAD  SACO recognized and cited by the UNCTAD

The South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) was given a boost with last week’s release of the UN’s Creative Economy Outlook and Country Profile report, giving the institution a fitting recognition.

Connect with us