South African Cultural Observatory

Beyoncé launches scholarship to support young women in the arts

BY 26.04.17

USA: Beyoncé has unveiled her ‘Formation Scholars’, a new scholarship announced on the one-year anniversary of Lemonade to support young woman in the arts. The scholarships are for women studying creative arts, music, literature or African-American studies and aim to ‘encourage and support young women who are unafraid to think outside the box and are bold, creative, conscious and confident.’  The first four scholarships will be awards for the 2017-2018 school year. Participating universities and colleges include Berklee College of Music, Howard University, Parsons School of Design, and Spelman College. The scholarship would ‘encourage and support young women who are unafraid to think outside the box and are bold, creative, conscious and confident.’ Read more.


UK Creative Industries Council Unveils Growth Strategy

LONDON: The industry members of the UK's Creative Industries Council (CIC) have identified five key areas as part of a new strategy to maintain and grow the UK’s position as a world leader for the creative industries. Launched to industry and Government at an event attended by Vince Cable Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Minister for Equalities, hosted by Facebook, the strategy - for the first time - unites the creative industries and identifies the significant role the sector will continue to play in the UK’s economic recovery. It acknowledges that creative industries generated more than £71 billion gross value added in 2012 – a 9.4 per cent increase between 2011 and 2012 that surpasses the growth of any other UK industry sector. These includes support for 1.71 million jobs and creation of 890,000 people in other sectors as part of the creative economy. Read more.


Four key trends of African design in 2017/18

CAPE TOWN: WGSN, a London trend forecasting company for fashion and creative industries, held a recent press event in Cape Town to unveil the four key trends that will be at the forefront of African design in 2017 and 2018. “The African retail value chain has been significantly disrupted over the past few years and retailers and suppliers need to have a clear point of differentiation and confidence in their design execution,” says Hannari Slabbert, WGSN regional director for Africa. “Added to that is a complex consumer mix who are increasingly influenced by international media and expect a contemporary offering in-store. In 2017, we are significantly expanding our trend content across Africa, focusing on the important social and style movements coming from this continent to help customers make profitable creative decisions to stay ahead of these challenges.” Read more.

African Cultural and Creative Industries Fair 2017African Cultural and Creative Industries Fair 2017

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.

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.

Chinese literature in Africa: meaningful or simply ceremonial?Chinese literature in Africa: meaningful or simply ceremonial?

BENIN: Sino-African relations are a major point of interest, especially over the past 20 or more years. The commentary, according to Catherine Gilbert Teaching Fellow in Comparative Literature, King's College London, tends to focus on trade, economic investment and aid and is often negative in tone. But culture is perceived as the most positive aspect of the relationship.


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#SACOConf2017: Minister Foreword #SACOConf2017: Minister Foreword

ON BEHALF behalf of the South African Department of Arts & Culture, it is a great pleasure to welcome you to the South African Cultural Observatory’s (SACO) National Conference 2017. The SACO is a long-awaited project of the Department of Arts & Culture – and we are pleased with the progress made so far, some of which will be covered at this conference.

#SACOConf2017 presentations for download #SACOConf2017 presentations for download

IN THE spirit of ‘open source’ and collective commons, the South African Cultural Observatory is excited to share the #SACOConf2017 National Conference presentations on this platform. The conference speakers have agreed to share their insights and presentation slides ahead of the release of a special edition of selected papers from the conference.

2017/18 Budget Vote Speech - Minister Nathi Mthethwa 2017/18 Budget Vote Speech - Minister Nathi Mthethwa

SPEECH by Minister Nathi Mthethwa at the Arts and Culture 2017/18 Budget Vote, Parliament, Cape Town. Today, we meet here on a day which has significance in our history as the 23rd May marks the 23 anniversary of admission of our country as the 53rd member state of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) now African Union (AU), in Tunis, Tunisia. It was at this historic gathering that Former President Nelson Mandela made the following commitments to heads of state and government: “Where South Africa appears on the agenda again, let it be because we want to discuss what its contribution shall be to the making of the new African renaissance. Let it be because we want to discuss what materials it will supply for the rebuilding of the African city of Carthage...

#SACOConf2017: Welcome Remarks - Mr Parks Tau#SACOConf2017: Welcome Remarks - Mr Parks Tau

WELCOME remarks by the President of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and the United Cities And Local Governments (UCLG) Network, Mr Parks Tau, at the South African Cultural Observatory 2017 National Conference, Newtown, 24 May 2017.

#SACOConf2017: Africa Day Address - Mr Vusi Sibiya#SACOConf2017: Africa Day Address - Mr Vusi Sibiya

THERE is no doubt that the greatest asset that Africa other than its raw materials is the youth. The development trajectory of our continent will be determined by the investment each and every individual country makes on this asset.

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