South African Cultural Observatory

Industry Highlights

BY 30.03.21

BASA Assembly

BASA, in partnership with the British Council, recently (24- 26 March) hosted an assembly where they discussed a number of issues that affect the creative industries. The programme was explicit that this was not symposium/conference/indaba, but an assembly.   

In line with 2021 being declared the ‘International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development’ by the United Nations General Assembly, BASA ASSEMBLY’s objective was to raise awareness, promote cooperation and networking, encourage sharing best practices and experiences, enhance human resource capacity, promote an enabling environment at all levels, as well as tackle the challenges of the current creative economy.

Themed Creativity Now: Cultural intelligence in the time of COVID-19, BASA ASSEMBLY explored what insights cultural intelligence can oer in terms of rebooting the creative economy in South Africa, on the African continent and globally.

It was also intended as a vehicle for showcasing BASA’s research into the South African creative sector with the launch of ArtsTrack No. 9, BASA’s biennial research project tracking consumer engagement within the arts and culture sector.

Recognition of SA’s cultural prowess continues in Coming 2 America

The month of March saw the premiere of the much-talked about Coming 2 America movie sequel on several platforms, including the Amazon Prime streaming service.  The show not only featured the talented Nomzamo Mbatha as one of the key characters in the comedy, but featured designs by two South Africans. The show’s costume designer, Ruth Carter, had also featured designs by Palesa Mokubung and Ladumo Ngxolo of Mantsho and the Maxhosa labels respectively. Despite the challenges that the sector continues to face there is a glimmer of hope when home-produced talent gets recognition from international industry players. The country can be proud of its ability to export and share such talent with the rest of the world.

The Fugard Theatre Shuts Down

On Tuesday, March 16 South Africa bid a permanent farewell to the Fugard Theatre as it announced the permanent shut down. The Fugard Theatre Founder, producer and benefactor Eric Abraham said in a statement that “we are not persuaded that it will be Covid-safe or financially viable to reopen as a theatre in the foreseeable future. The theatre will be handed back to the owner of the freehold of the building – the board of The District 6 Museum – as a working theatre and we hope that they will be able to use it for the benefit of the Museum and the District 6 community”.

The closure is another sad news in what has become a common occurrence for the industry that is being decimated by the Covid-19 pandemic.  The theatre was said to have “symbolised what was possible in South Africa – the return to our roots and the reclamation of our histories”.

The Fugard Theatre was named after Athol Fugard, South Africa’s most significant and internationally acclaimed playwright. For over fifty years he has written soul-searing plays with roles for all South Africans which have moved audiences in South Africa and around the world to laughter and tears as they reflected the racism, barbarity and inhumanity of apartheid.

The SA Cultural Observatory - Measuring And Valuing SA’s Cultural And Creative Industries, September 2021 The SA Cultural Observatory -  Measuring And Valuing SA’s Cultural And Creative Industries, September 2021

The SA Cultural Observatory was established to undertake economic research for and about the cultural and creative industries in SA. We publish the reports on our website and in various media platforms, including this newsletter, with a view to empower industry stakeholders with information that we hope they will find useful, informative and can be relied upon when making decisions about the sector.

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The South African Cultural Observatory - Measuring and Valuing SA’s Cultural and Creative Industries The South African Cultural Observatory - Measuring and Valuing SA’s Cultural and Creative Industries

The SA Cultural Observatory was established to undertake economic research for and about the cultural and creative industries in SA. We publish our reports in various media platforms, including this newsletter, with a view to empower industry stakeholders with information that we hope they will find useful, informative and can be relied upon when making decisions about the sector.

READ MORE

Call for input: Mapping Study on Museum and Fashion Sectors Call for input: Mapping Study on Museum and Fashion Sectors

The French Embassy and French Institute in South Africa (IFAS) have initiated a mapping study of the creative and cultural industries in South Africa, with an initial focus on the museum and fashion sectors.

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The creative industries are growing — and will continue to play an important role in the economy. The cultural and creative industries (CCIs) are one of the world’s most rapidly growing and increasingly important economic sectors.

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As we publish this edition of the Cultural Observer, most of the West has placed South Africa in the travel red list owing to the Omicron variant of Covid-19 identified by the South African scientists.

The SA Cultural Observatory - Measuring and Valuing SA’s Cultural and Creative Industries The SA Cultural Observatory - Measuring and Valuing SA’s Cultural and Creative Industries

The Observatory was established to undertake economic research for and about the cultural and creative industries in SA. Additionally we have done research on other related sectors that impact the cultural industries.

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Due to the Covid-19 restrictions most industry events and activities have either been cancelled or largely held online since April 2020.

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The Cape Town-based artist, Andrea du Plessis (40) has been announced as the winner of the 2021 Sasol New Signatures Art Competition.

Six Artists Scoop The 2021 Standard Bank Young Artists Awards Six Artists Scoop The 2021 Standard Bank Young Artists Awards

Six young South African artists were the successful winners and recipients of the Standard Bank Young Artists for 2021. The fortunate artists are Kristi-Leigh Gresse (Dance), Vuma Levin (Jazz), Buhlebezwe Siwani (Visual Art), Cara Stacey (Music), Gavin Krastin (Performance Art) and Thando Doni (Theatre).

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