South African Cultural Observatory

Young, free and creative

BY Richard Haines 29.06.17

YOUNG people will shape the cultural and creative economy of the future. While they have always been at the forefront of the culture and content of cool, now more than ever it is important to consider the value, power and role of the youth in building and sustaining this economy. 

With Youth Month  bringing the importance of young people into sharp focus, it's important to consider their impact on the arts, culture and heritage (ACH) sectors and the creative and cultural industries (CCIs) as the opportunities and threats of the fourth industrial revolution make themselves manifest. 

 Our 2017 National Conference really worked hard to incorporate youth perspectives. To this end, we collaborated with the Market Theatre Foundation to create a seamless conference ‘precinct experience’ in Newtown that favours the students at the Market Theatre Laboratory and the Market Photo Workshop, and other creative youth.

Four young, black women photographers were hired to capture the conference proceedings, adding to their portfolios and client experience. Two groups of 25 theatre performance students a surprised conference goers with cameo performance; and other students worked with the SACO Conference team to manage the conference over the two days gaining invaluable insight into how to run an event.

The youth flavour extended past this collaboration to include the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra Company which performed at the conference. Bokani Dyer with his trio and guests – including Zoe Modiga – played at the conference evening cocktail function at the Market Theatre.

The cocktail function on the evening of May 24 kept with the youth theme, as guests moved from jazz to theatre with a choice of either Can Themba’s The Suit, directed by James Ngcobo, or Wits School of Art’s performance of Kgafela oa Magogodi’s satirical play Chilahaebolae.

In addition we had a really strong youth focused programme with a whole session dedicated to 'Youth and Development for the Creative Economy' - and which featured some promising young researchers and practitioners, including Dr Beth Vale from the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (Mistra), Tobile Chitteden from Room 13, Calvin Bosilong from Ideas Expo Botswana and Mary Duker from Nelson Mandela University. 

 Through this conference we achieved much of what we set out to do, in terms of gaining a broad idea of the current trends shaping the creative economy and development here and further afield. We also stimulated debate while profiling the potential of the creative industry as a powerful economic driver - and considered the youth angle. This is something we will endeavour to do throughout the next year as we run a nationwide roadshow of domain workshops and gera up for the 2018 National Conference.  

Update on SACO activities

It's been non-stop and a seamless transition from the National Conference planning and execution into putting the final touches on the domain workshop planning, which start next month in East London. We are also commissioning research on mapping and monitoring and evalution studies. It's our third and final year of our contract with the Department of Arts and Culture and there is much ground to cover, with our priority shifting almost entirely to delivering our major research outcomes. Watch this space as we reach out to you as a sector and industry to participate in mapping the existing and future potential of the creative and cultural economy. 

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

Your Culturalist,

Prof. Richard Haines

South African Cultural Observatory: CEO

Beyond the creative economy? Beyond the creative economy?

IT IS conference planning season for the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO). This means an intense review of the trends and research emerging from the creative and cultural industries (CCIs) and the arts, culture and heritage (ACH) sectors. I spent three weeks recently travelling to Europe and the United Kingdom, which gave me some real first hand insight to some of the most pressing issues on the minds of many thinkers, academics, researchers, economists and policy-makers. There is much to be excited about.

READ MORE
Heritage, connection and collaboration Heritage, connection and collaboration

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. 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.

READ MORE

Celebrating Creative Women Celebrating Creative Women

WOMEN are, in many ways, shaping the future of the creative industries. Last year Prof Jen Snowball, SACO Chief Research Strategist, compressed data from National Mapping Study of the creative and cultural industries released in 2014, and published this article in The Conversation – From the stage to the boardroom: South African women make slow transition.

READ MORE
Changing the world Changing the world

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.

READ MORE

More News
Aspire Art Auctions makes history in latest sale Aspire Art Auctions makes history in latest sale

Auction house fetches highest ever South African price reached for Kentridge drawing and world record for Kumalo sculpture.

SA Cultural Observatory announces 3rd international conference to be held in Nelson Mandela Bay: ‘Beyond the creative economy?' SA Cultural Observatory announces 3rd international conference to be held in Nelson Mandela Bay: ‘Beyond the creative economy?'

THE future of creativity and its role in our society will be a key focus area of the South African Cultural Observatory’s (SACO) third national conference, which returns to Nelson Mandela Bay in March 2018, the research institute announced today. Embracing the theme ‘Beyond the creative economy? Trends and Issues in National and Regional Economies’ the 2018 conference will run over two days on 7 and 8 March 2018, at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

Visual intro to the SA Cultural Observatory Visual intro to the SA Cultural Observatory

WANT to know more about the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) and what it does, but don't have much time? The SACO has just released a new, short(ish) introduction to the organisation on YouTube.

Domain workshop presentations available Domain workshop presentations available

THE South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) has just wrapped its nation-wide tour and is offering all the presentations given as open source information for those who could not attend the workshops.

Gender Equality Policy in the Arts, Culture and Media – Comparative Perspectives Gender Equality Policy in the Arts, Culture and Media – Comparative Perspectives

GERMANY is still lagging behind its neighbours when it comes to women in culture and media, according to a comprehensive survey of the role of women in the arts, culture and media in selected European countries, carried out by the Hertie School of Governance under the academic direction of Helmut K. Anheier, and supported by the German government’s Commissioner for Culture and Media.

Connect with us