South African Cultural Observatory

Umtiza Arts Festival Report

BY 01.07.24

On the 27th of May 2024, the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) took part in the 9th edition of the Umtiza Arts Festival in East London. Named after the Umtiza tree which is prominent in many parts of the Eastern Cape, the festival initially began as a collaborative effort between the East London Guild Theatre, the East London Museum, and the Ann Bryant Gallery to act as a cultural hub for the city’s creative and cultural industries.

SACO presented their 2020 study “Towards a National Book Policy” at the UNESCO Creative City of Literature Programme of the festival – an apt discussion, as Buffalo City Metro had just been declared a UNESCO Creative City of Literature on World Cities Day in Paris. The presentation covered a variety of important issues such as literacy and reading in modern society, the importance of publishing in South Africa’s official languages and the role of government and the private sector in this domain.

Additionally, SACO spoke about Artificial Intelligence and its role within the creative and cultural industries, an important discussion given how books have been considered an effective means of transmitting knowledge and recording, while preserving and disseminating the cultural heritage of the South African people.

Snapshot of the cultural and creative industries in South Africa Snapshot of the cultural and creative industries in South Africa

The SACO 2022 mapping study showed that the total contribution of the cultural and creative industries to South Africa’s GDP was R161 billion in 2020. This represents just under 3% of South Africa’s total economic production in 2020 and makes the sector approximately the same size as agriculture.

READ MORE
Better Africa Better World Better Africa Better World

May marked Africa month - a moment for the continent to pause, reflect, and celebrate the unique African identity and cultural expression.

READ MORE

50 Years of The National Arts Festival 50 Years of The National Arts Festival

2024 is a monumental year for the National Arts Festival as it celebrates 50 years of existence and 40 years of Standard Bank Young Artists Awards. These celebrations coincide with celebrating 30 years of Democracy in South Africa.

READ MORE
Audiovisual Archives Training in Southern Africa with INA Call for interest Audiovisual Archives Training in Southern Africa with INA Call for interest

As part of funding from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS), jointly with the French national audiovisual institute (INA) will implement a large-scale training programme in the audiovisual and film archives sector across 9 countries: Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

READ MORE

More News
Snapshot of the cultural and creative industries in South Africa Snapshot of the cultural and creative industries in South Africa

The SACO 2022 mapping study showed that the total contribution of the cultural and creative industries to South Africa’s GDP was R161 billion in 2020. This represents just under 3% of South Africa’s total economic production in 2020 and makes the sector approximately the same size as agriculture.

Better Africa Better World Better Africa Better World

May marked Africa month - a moment for the continent to pause, reflect, and celebrate the unique African identity and cultural expression.

50 Years of The National Arts Festival 50 Years of The National Arts Festival

2024 is a monumental year for the National Arts Festival as it celebrates 50 years of existence and 40 years of Standard Bank Young Artists Awards. These celebrations coincide with celebrating 30 years of Democracy in South Africa.

The cultural weight of democratic destiny: Building a creative, moving Mzansi The cultural weight of democratic destiny: Building a creative, moving Mzansi

South Africa, 30 years into democracy, faces a challenge in nurturing a culture of democracy that resonates with its youth. South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) executive director Unathi Lutshaba argues that harnessing the unifying power of culture can bridge this gap and drive positive societal change. The creative economy not only fuels economic growth but also reinforces democratic values, making it a vital component in shaping South Africa's future. Through continued research, advocacy, and collaboration, SACO envisions a Mzansi where creativity and democracy thrive together.

Audiovisual Archives Training in Southern Africa with INA Call for interest Audiovisual Archives Training in Southern Africa with INA Call for interest

As part of funding from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS), jointly with the French national audiovisual institute (INA) will implement a large-scale training programme in the audiovisual and film archives sector across 9 countries: Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

Connect with us