South African Cultural Observatory

Aims and Objectives

Primary Objective

  • To advance applied research in the field of cultural information systems.

Secondary Objectives

  • To support existing or developing information networks by enhancing collaborative research projects between multidisciplinary teams.
  • To provide support to the sector by becoming a holistic repository, collector and developer of knowledge, information and evidence concerning the content, structure and dynamics of the sector with a view to contributing to employment and sustainable development.

Expected Outcomes

  • To Champion Evidence: To be South Africa’s primary source of cultural statistics and key indicators to assess the value of the sector and track changes over time and make comparisons between different evidence bases; and to model evidence in such a way as to yield new insights .
  • To Influence Policy: To analyse trends to inform future policy and resource allocation decisions; measure the performance of the sector to allow global comparability; interface with the other spheres of government on cultural statistics policy matters; support the DAC in performance measure indicators of the cultural industries and investigate the impact of existing and potential cultural policies on the development and growth of the country.
  • To Share Insight: To provide accessible interactive database 'knowledge and information' for users and target groups; to generate trust and social capital so that there is confidence in cultural indicators and acceptance of public statistics; to become a research hub, clearing house for new and innovative research projects for cultural industries in South Africa; to provide critical cultural information on sustaining cultural and social cohesion trends in South Africa; to collaborate with key observatories in Africa and elsewhere and to stimulate debates and improve knowledge exchange in seminars and conferences.
  • To Build Capacity: To provide technical assistance for strengthening the capacity of the sector practitioners, through networking; to educate through the online observatory utilising the best practice in user-friendly information and educative links for further reading; to provide training and development to all local authorities on the gathering of cultural statistics and information; to provide support for multidisciplinary research in the creative economy and other related issues.
More News
Special Award recipients at 20th BASA Awards Special Award recipients at 20th BASA Awards

HUMAN rights activist Justice Albie Sachs, the Swiss cultural centre Pro Helvetia, and law firm Webber Wentzel have been honoured with BASA Special Awards.

SAFEIC Calculator Video Tutorial Now Available SAFEIC Calculator Video Tutorial Now Available

The South African Cultural Observatory is excited to announce the release of a training video on the use of the SAFEIC Calculator. The South African Festivals Economic Impact Calculator (SAFEIC) is a free online tool developed by the South African Cultural Observatory specifically for cultural festival and event organisers so they can track the economic impact of their events. The SAFEIC is designed to be used to estimate the economic impact of a festival on a host economy. It has been carefully, and conservatively, designed so as to produce results that are as reliable and valid as possible for a wide range of events – provided the data that is inputted is as accurate as possible.

Three Solo shows: Turiya Magadlela, Bronwyn Katz and Herman Mbamba At Blank Projects Three Solo shows: Turiya Magadlela, Bronwyn Katz and Herman Mbamba At Blank Projects

RELOCATED to larger premises in Woodstock, Blank Projects is a wonderful space for art. In this premier show, three artists present distinct methods and processes that may be understood in various ways. Magadlela’s “Wabana lapho isifebe, wangena kuso” employs pantyhose on canvas to great effect; Katz uses bed wiring and Mbamba uses acrylics within the context of torn pages from Norwegian fashion magazines.

19 Days in September: Steve Biko Exhibition 19 Days in September: Steve Biko Exhibition

AN exhibition marking the 40th anniversary of the death and immediate aftermath of the murder of Steve Biko by security police in South Africa in September 1977, opened in Sophiatown, Johannesburg, on Tuesday 12 September at noon.

Youth Expression Festival 2018 call out Youth Expression Festival 2018 call out

THE South African State Theatre’s Education, Youth and Children Theatre (EYCT) Department will be celebrating the 10th Youth Expressions Festival in 2018. In celebrating a decade of staging young people’s professional work, and commemorating the struggles fought by the youth of 1976, professional young art practitioners are invited to propose their work of art to be part of the festival, which will be divided into the Main and Fringe programs.

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