South African Cultural Observatory

#SACOCOnf2018: Going beyond

BY Richard Haines 30.11.17

WELCOME to the conference edition of the newsletter. This month we moved swifly to launch the SACO's 2018 Conference website, announce the conference theme, issue out a call for papers, and open registration. We have a very exciting international conference coming up that is both forward and backward looking as we seek of view 'Beyond the Creative Economy: Trends and Issues in National and Regional Economies’. 

The critical role that arts and creativity will play in the future of work is one of the main themes of the conference as it gains momentum globally, and the impact of ‘creativity capital’ in today’s thriving economies is set to become even more influential as we progress into the future.

We together with the Department of Arts & Culture (DAC)  announcde the SACO’s 2018 International Conference on March 7 and 8  2018 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. 

The conference will explore the roles and challenges facing the arts, culture and heritage sectors and the creative industries, in contributing to social and economic development. It takes cognizance of new trends and emerging debates regarding the dynamics, working and social effects of the creative economy on a national and international scale. Policy issues and the nature and scope of cultural participation and cultural rights will be considered, as will be questions regarding the institutional and social embeddedness of creative economies. The impact of new technologies and the restructuring of popular culture in terms of production and consumption will constitute an important emphasis.

  This major theme will be supported by a series of sub-themes including:

  • Re-visioning the Creative Economy
  • The Future of Work in the Creative Economy
  • Funding Arts, Culture and Heritage: Current Concerns and New Options
  • Culture & the Creative Economy: Area Studies
    • BRICS
    • Africa
    • Other
  • Cultural Policy in the Age of Neo-Liberalism: Theories and Applications
  • Popular Culture and the Creative Economy
  • Cultural Rights & Participation

A number of high-level national and international keynote speakers will be in attendance. An announcement regarding these will be made in due course.

Visit the conference website for more: 

Also try get get your hands on Creative Feel's December edition - there is more conference information there. 

Update on SACO Activities

The #SACOConf2018 now becomes our main focus, together with the research reports currently underway.  We are working on five main reports which overall will contribute to the mega mapping study commissioned. 

  1. Cultural and Creative Industry Employment Report (using LSF data)
  2. International Trade & Cultural Goods
  3. Shifting Ownership and Transformation
  4. Provinces, location and clusters
  5. Macro-economic Report

The research will be published in the coming months, so watch this space.

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

 Your Culturalist,

Prof. Richard Haines

South African Cultural Observatory: CEO

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NELSON Mandela once said: ‘I was not a messiah, but an ordinary man who had become a leader because of extraordinary circumstances.’ In July the incredible leader was front and centre as we not only celebrated his birthday through the now globally renowned 67 Minutes and Mandela Day initiative, but also in the re-naming of Nelson Mandela University.


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