South African Cultural Observatory

African Cultural and Creative Industries Fair 2017

BY 31.03.17

ABIDJAN: Arterial Network is ten years old and is about to embark on a new phase of re-positioning and revitalisation of the network, it said this week. It is inviting its affiliated member organisations to collaborate on this exciting move forward. During a meeting Steering Committee of Arterial Network, in Seychelles in June 2016, the committee decided to set up a cultural and creative industries fair on the continent as a logical and practical follow-up to the lessons learned from las year’s Arterial Network African Creative Economy Conference (ACEC) ACEC. The African Cultural and Creative Industries Fair (FICCA) 2017 will take place from 2 - 4 November 2017 in the Palais de la Culture, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, and is conceived as an international platform for exchange, sharing and meeting between professionals in the creative sector. The FICCA is a collaborative space with a multiplier effect. READ MORE.


The challenges the UK creative industry faces post-Brexit.

UNITED KINGDOM: A paper was recently published by the Liberal Democrats in the U.K. outlining the challenges facing the UK’s creative industries. The report, ‘The Power of Creativity and Brexit’ lays out the potential challenges for the industry, including potentially huge impacts from changes to freedom of movement, loss of investment and funding and less access to markets after Brexit. With a £3.8bn contribution to the economy, the creative industries are critical to the U.K. gross domestic product. The value of exports to the E.U. across the creative industries is £19.8bn, and these products are not fully covered by WTO rules - a future option the government has failed to rule out. READ MORE.


Morocco hosts month-long African art, culture festival

RABAT: A month-long festival to celebrate African art and culture will be hosted in Morocco and will feature some of the continent's most prominent artists. The festival follows a vast diplomatic, political and economic offensive by Morocco across the continent which culminated in its return to the African Union in January. Planned activities include theatre, exhibitions and concerts held around Rabat as part of the Africa in the Capital event. Works by artists including Congolese painter Cheri Cherin, Bruce Onobrakpeya of Nigeria, Aboudia of Ivory Coast and Wahib Chehata of Tunisia will be on display at Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art until April 28. READ MORE.


Art access linked to better health, safety, education – study

NEW YORK: A recent article by Isaac Kaplan on a two-year study released this month by researchers from the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania Arts reveals the quantitative relationship between the presence of cultural resources in a neighbourhood and key aspects of social wellbeing, particularly in less advantaged neighbourhoods .  The research was part of the school’s ongoing Social Impact of the Arts Project (SIAP). Professor Mark J. Stern and SIAP director Susan C. Seifert found that low- and middle-income residents across New York City with more access to cultural resources experience better education, security, and health outcomes compared to residents of neighbourhoods with similar economic profiles but with fewer cultural resources. The research departs from previous studies by including the arts as “intrinsic” to residents’ having the freedom to live valuable lives, while also looking at its effect on other aspects of wellbeing. 

When controlling for factors including economic status, race, and ethnicity, the relative higher presence of cultural resources in lower-income neighbourhoods is linked with several health, safety, and education benefits. These include a 14% decrease in indicted investigations of child abuse and neglect, an 18% decrease in felony crime rate and also a 17–18% increase in the number of students scoring at the highest level on standardized Math and English tests.  READ MORE.


What’s fair about smaller Art Fairs?

MILAN: Hili Perlson recently asked the question of Alessandro Rabottini, new curator of the Milan International Fair of Modern and Contemporary Art, or miart: ‘With the big players buying stakes at regional art fair, what can smaller fairs do to stay relevant?’. This came on thus cusp miart which opens its 22nd edition this week, with public days running from March 31 – April 2, 2017 – the first edition under the leadership of the new artistic director. Rabottini—who first joined as curatorial coordinator for the 2013-2015 editions, and served as deputy director for the 2016 edition—was instrumental in supporting the fair’s transformation from a sleepy regional affair to a vibrant, fashionable event befitting its host city. As a smaller fair, the challenge of miart is in finding the balance between the local and the international, something that is central to the fair’s identity. With his deep understanding of miart’s audience, Rabottini takes an editorial approach to achieving this equilibrium, comparing the fair in this interview with artnet News to a magazine—while the local flavour is the core attraction, the reach goes beyond what he calls the ‘Milan brand’. READ MORE.


African art racks up $4m at Sotheby’s auction, but is it good for the continent?African art racks up $4m at Sotheby’s auction, but is it good for the continent?

IN celebration of #AfricaDay and #AfricaMonth we focus on some news emanating from the continent and its scholars.

Beyoncé launches scholarship to support young women in the artsBeyoncé launches scholarship to support young women in the arts

BEYONCE has unveiled her ‘Formation Scholars’, a new scholarship announced on the one-year anniversary of Lemonade to support young woman in the arts.


Rock Art hunting for preservation in the Sahara DesertRock Art hunting for preservation in the Sahara Desert

DEEP in the Sahara Desert lies significant cultural heritage in the form of priceless rock art reminiscent of a time when desert was actually rolling green plains. Ferdinand Saumarez Smith from the incredible Factum Foundation was recently in Chad to document the Sahara’s astonishing – and endangered – rock art, in an effort to help preserve humanity’s ancient history.

‘Lagos is Nigeria’s creative sector hub’ says Minister‘Lagos is Nigeria’s creative sector hub’ says Minister

NIGERIAN Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has lauded Lagos State as the hub of the creative sector in Nigeria, saying it had a key role to play in the Federal Government’s economic diversification policy.


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