South African Cultural Observatory
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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SA museums have come long way SA museums have come long way

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.

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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

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.

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Executive Direction Executive Direction

As we celebrate heritage month, as we visit various heritage sites, as we remember the journey walked and traversed by our forebears, it is wise to take to heart the words of the Spanish philosopher and essayist George Santayana when he said that “those who do not remember their past are condemned to repeat their mistakes, and those who do not read history are doomed to repeat it”.

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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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Gautengers celebrating Heritage Month in style Gautengers celebrating Heritage Month in style

Every other year as we celebrate heritage month in September, South Africans are spoilt for choice of arts, heritage and cultural experiences. With our rich heritage, we have a wide variety of cultural consumptions to feast on.

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The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture invests substantial resources to grow the sector- CCIFSA The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture invests substantial resources to grow the sector- CCIFSA

In order to support the growth of the industry, the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture continues to invest substantial resources in the sector. The Department has invested over R13 million to assist the Cultural and Creative Industries Federation of South Africa (CCIFSA).

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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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A curator with an academic streak - Gabi Ngcobo A curator with an academic streak - Gabi Ngcobo

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

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Gifted Thandi Ntuli performs in the US Gifted Thandi Ntuli performs in the US

Thandi Ntuli could be described as one of the few young musicians barking the trend with her talent and love for the genre of music that is jazz. This is genre that is not so popular with young artists.

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Zandile Mzazi- one of SA’s best tradable talent Zandile Mzazi- one of SA’s best tradable talent

Eastern Cape has gifted the country and the arts and culture industry with the sensational soprano opera musician, Zandile Mzazi. Probably more widely known and celebrated abroad, Mzazi hails from a musical family in Elliot, and has performed to the A-list audiences across the globe.

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Thesis ZA- the duo that is making big waves Thesis ZA- the duo that is making big waves

The Cape Town vocalist duo that makes Thesis ZA comprising Ondela Simakuhle and Ayanda Charlie made it into the final list of the Mail and Guardian 200 Young South Africans 2019.

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