South African Cultural Observatory

SACO Announces an Exciting Line-Up of International and Local Speakers

BY 03.11.22

The South African Cultural Observatory announces an exciting line-up of international speakers for the upcoming 4th SACO International Conference. The conference has attracted leading minds and experts working in and across the cultural and creative economy on the African continent, in Europe, Australia and the Americas. 

Headlining the speaker line-up is the world-renowned critical theorist and social scientist, the Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University, Professor Homi K. Bhabha who will deliver a key-note speech on the first day of the conference.

Author of numerous works exploring colonial and postcolonial theory, cultural change and power, and cosmopolitanism, among other themes, Prof. Bhabha is one of the most important figures in contemporary postcolonial studies. He developed a number of the field's neologisms and key concepts, such as hybridity, mimicry, difference, and ambivalence.

He will speak on the topic of ‘Culture wars: Trends driving the state of global culture and the need to rethink citizenship and affiliation.

Headlining on day 2 of the conference is Ms. Laura Callanan Founding Partner of the Upstart Co-Lab, based in New York. She will speak to new models of investment in the creative economy and specifically on “how investment in the creative economy can achieve deep people-focused impact.”

Prof. Bhabha and Ms. Callanan will be joined by international and local luminaries on the subject of cultural and creative economy and cultural practitioners.

These include top industry author and the University of South Australia’s Professor of Creative Economy, Justin O’Connor (a leading thinker and international expert of cultural economy theory with interests in such areas as contemporary urban cultures; cultural and creative industries; cultural policy; arts and culture reset); and Prof. Andy Pratt, UNESCO Chair of Global Creative Economy, Professor of Cultural Economy, Department of Media, Culture and the Creative Industries City, University of London who will speak on "Transformations of the Creative Economy”.

Also joining are:

  • Minister for Sport, Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa who leads the SA Government in the development and the implementation of arts and culture policy in South Africa; Prof. Leandro Valiati, from the University of Manchester Professor for Arts and Cultural Management, a leading thinker and economist whose areas of interest include creative industries and economy of culture, art history and cultural practices);
  • Marisa Henderson the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)’s Creative Economy Programme Chief;
  • South African guitarist, composer, producer, author and educator, Mr. Billy Monama;
  • Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Communication and Media Studies, Queensland University of Technology, Prof. Stuart Cunningham;
  • Eric Karengera from Rwanda’s production and curation music network, AFROGROOV;
  • The new managing director of Africa's first dedicated finance, business support and knowledge facility for creative industries, the HEVA Fund, Wakiuru Njuguna and the former head Mr. George Gachara; and
  • Manager for programme and partnerships manager for British Council sub-Saharhan Africa, Ms. Farai Ncube
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As I pen this, I am beaming with excitement. After a four-year-long wait, the 4th SACO International Conference 2022 is finally here. We are literally a few weeks away from the much-anticipated SACO International Conference that so many in the industry have kept asking me about.

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