South African Cultural Observatory

Heritage, connection and collaboration

BY Richard Haines 29.09.17

GREETINGS from Toulouse. I am in France building stronger international relations with French institutions. It was also Heritage Month in September and we have been considering the importance of heritage in the arts, culture and heritage matrix. x. At the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) heritage is a critical consideration for us and in general for the country, and specifically for the Department of Arts & Culture.

I would recommend reading our SACO Research Manager’s Unathi Lutahsba’s opinion piece on how Creative Economy research is needed to preserve SA’s living heritage and cultural identities. Heritage us the bedrock all culture and creativity. It gives us a sense of place and embeds us in history. As we reflect on the centrality of heritage in our lives, it’s worth also considering the vast literature and research on heritage, tourism, culture and the environment. Read about UNESCO’s latest research here.

I am moving from Toulouse to Grenoble and on to London over the next few weeks with heritage on my mind and the mission of securing greater international partnerships for the SACO. Watch this space.

Update on SACO activities

We are two thirds through an epic series of domain and other workshops countrywide, which constitutes the SACO’s annual roadshow. Coming up we have Mafeking, Vereeniging and round out the tour in Tzaneen. We also have a research workshop on in Kimberly. Go to our events page to register for these events: https://www.southafricanculturalobservatory.co.za/events

The workshops have been very revealing about the needs, wants, experiences of and information gaps in the sector. We are excited to develop a state of affairs report, which will follow the final workshop. Watch this space.

Another great coup achieved is the completion of the South African Festival Economic Impact Calculator, training video for measuring event and festival impact. This allows anyone anywhere to use the tool to help measure the impact of their event or festival. We are very proud of the SAFEIC and the value it can help bring to event organisers.

Finally, our research commissioning process is underway – primarily the mapping study and a series of research papers.  Research is our core focus for our third and final year of our contract with the Department of Arts and Culture. Our priority is now almost entirely on delivering our major research outcomes. We will share more information as the research stages are completed.

Until then, enjoy the September edition of The Cultural Observer.

 

Your Culturalist,

Prof. Richard Haines

South African Cultural Observatory: CEO

 

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