South African Cultural Observatory

A curator with an academic streak - Gabi Ngcobo

BY 30.08.19

This month we celebrate Gabi Ngcobo, an independent curator, creative researcher and educator who was the curator of the tenth Berlin Biennale for contemporary art in Germany. Ngcobo, who teaches at the With School of Arts joined an illustrious list of past curators of the Berlin Biennale, among them Hans Ulrich Obrist and Ute Meta Bauer. Before Berlin she did curatorial work in Sao Paulo and Cape Town. She is also the founder of Center for Historical Re-enactments

A curator, a word taken from Latin that means to ‘take care’, is a manager or overseer. Traditionally, a curator or keeper of a cultural heritage institution (e.g. gallery, museum, library, or archive) is a content specialist charged with an institution's collections and involved with the interpretation of heritage material. 

As a curator, Ngocobo explains in an interview with the SABC that when she was appointed curator of the Berline Biennale, her responsibility included identifying artists who would be part of the Biennale, doing research and collaborating with other specialists, identifying and finding venues for the exhibitions.

She says she is interested in historical narratives, and how artists and people are shaped by historical events, and how they interpret and reflect on modern and current events.  

Call for the 2020 NMU/DAC bursary programme application Call for the 2020 NMU/DAC bursary programme application

The DAC bursary programme at the Nelson Mandela University wishes to inform all prospective language studies students that the DAC bursary programme for 2020 is now open.

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The SACO team attends UNCTAD’s Creative Economy Ad Hoc Expert Meeting in Geneva The SACO team attends UNCTAD’s Creative Economy Ad Hoc Expert Meeting in Geneva

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The artist with a deep appreciation for art- Mr Avhashoni Mainganye The artist with a deep appreciation for art- Mr Avhashoni Mainganye

At a recent SA Cultural Observatory workshop in the Vhembe district in Sibasa, Limpopo, we came across the definition of an artist- Mr Avhashoni Mainganye. Currently based at the Vhembe Arts and Culture centre in Thohoyandou, the unassuming Mainganye is an accomplished painter, printmaker, sculptor, photographer, arts teacher and mentor with more than 30 years’ experience in the industry.

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Encouraging a culture of reading a collective responsibility Encouraging a culture of reading a collective responsibility

Various partners have come together to do their bit to encourage and engender the culture of book reading. During the month of September the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, the South African Book Development Council (SABDC), Exclusive Books and Bargain Books all participated in initiatives to encourage South Africans to buy and read books.

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The application period for 2020/2021 Mzansi Golden Economy (MGE) funding from the Department of Arts and Culture has been extended from 11th to 18th November 2019.

Call for the 2020 NMU/DAC bursary programme application Call for the 2020 NMU/DAC bursary programme application

The DAC bursary programme at the Nelson Mandela University wishes to inform all prospective language studies students that the DAC bursary programme for 2020 is now open.

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The main function of museums has traditionally revolved around collecting, preserving, researching and displaying objects. To control a museum means precisely to control the representation of a community and its highest values and truths. It is also the power to define the relative standing of individuals within that community. Museums are more than containers of things; rather, they are complex reflections of the cultures that produced them, including their politics, social structures, and systems of thought. Cultural institutions, like museums, can be powerful in telling the “authorised” version of our histories, in shaping national identity and in building social cohesion, as well as contributing to education and research through their collection, archiving and conservation of artefacts.

The SACO team attends UNCTAD’s Creative Economy Ad Hoc Expert Meeting in Geneva The SACO team attends UNCTAD’s Creative Economy Ad Hoc Expert Meeting in Geneva

The SA Cultural Observatory Executive Director, Unathi Lutshaba & Head of Research, Prof Jen Snowball participate in UNCTAD’s Creative Economy Ad Hoc Expert Meeting in Geneva. The meeting was first of its kind & was aimed at bringing together experts from various countries to discuss the relationship between creative industries and economic development.

The artist with a deep appreciation for art- Mr Avhashoni Mainganye The artist with a deep appreciation for art- Mr Avhashoni Mainganye

At a recent SA Cultural Observatory workshop in the Vhembe district in Sibasa, Limpopo, we came across the definition of an artist- Mr Avhashoni Mainganye. Currently based at the Vhembe Arts and Culture centre in Thohoyandou, the unassuming Mainganye is an accomplished painter, printmaker, sculptor, photographer, arts teacher and mentor with more than 30 years’ experience in the industry.

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