By Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa
“The only hope is in the creation of alternative values, alternative realities. The only hope is in daring to redream one's place in the world - a beautiful act of imagination, and a sustained act of self becoming. Which is to say that in some way or another we breach and confound the accepted frontiers of things.”
This brings to mind matters of mapping and going beyond the borders that entrap us in separate spaces, divided identities, polarities of rich and poor, black and white, rural and urban, and the resultant seemingly divergent paths.
But in order to bridge the gaps and deep divisions that apartheid thrust upon us, it is important that we embark upon mapping studies and do this in an organized way through establishing a cultural observatory whose task it is to collect, analyse and interpret cultural data. This enables us to better understand our reality, know our strengths and the nature of our activities.
Importantly, armed with all this information and analysis, we shall have in our possession a rich cultural repository of local, provincial and national arts resources. By tracking the data over time, we can identify trends and make interventions. In this way, we make informed choices. The act of redreaming the world which artists do best becomes an act of self becoming, as Ben Okri has said, but also beyond this, an act towards national belonging.
The Department of Arts and Culture has initiated the establishment of a cultural observatory as one of the pillars of the Mzansi Golden Economy Strategy which seeks to increase and enhance the contribution of the arts and creative industries to South Africa’s social, economic and cultural development.
The year 2016 is well into its stride. Much ground has been covered. Yet this is a year in which racism continues to rear its ugly head, breaking our stride and threatening to disrupt our collective journey towards a non-racial South Africa, eager to to distract us from our nation-building and social cohesion project and that sense of national belonging which the arts can provide through broadening our cultural imagination.
It is our hope that the cultural information system, which is developed, will present us with dynamic information enabling us to understand the impact of the arts and to build arts, culture and heritage in South Africa. In this way, we shall reshape this map into a rich interactive space where we shall witness more cultural coalescence and also art that desires non-racialism and non-sexism, that crosses and confounds what Okri calls “the accepted frontiers of things.”
OPENING Keynote address by the Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa at the 2nd Sector Indaba on the White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage, Johannesburg, 17 November 2016. "It was almost a year ago on the 24 November 2015 that we gathered together as the Arts, Culture and Heritage Sector in a meeting of minds on the future of the arts. And I pledged to all present that once we had completed our consultative work led by the eminent Reference Panel, we would return and reconvene the sector to engage this important work. We have remained true to this pledge and today we return for this important second consultative Indaba."READ MORE
THE African experience of growing, maintaining and developing a strong cultural and creative economy will be a main focal point at the South African Cultural Observatory’s (SACO) conference this May.
BEYONCE has unveiled her ‘Formation Scholars’, a new scholarship announced on the one-year anniversary of Lemonade to support young woman in the arts.
A paper recently published by Nampombe Mnkeni-Saurombe from the University of South Africa and Nomusa Zimu from the Human Sciences Research Council on the role of community libraries reports on the Department of Arts and Culture’s conditional grant community library project progress.
THE Arts & Culture Trust’s next five-year strategy will see the organisation making bold changes.
THE Small Enterprise Development Agency of KZN will coordinate and host the participation of micro, emerging and established enterprises as well as individual upcoming visual artists during the Art Santa Fe show which will take place from the 13-16th July 2017 at the Santa Fe Convention Centre in USA.
SACO2017 - South African Cultural Observatory 2nd National Conference
|Date:||24 May 2017 - 25 May 2017|
|Venue:||The Forum Turbine Hall|
Platteland Preview Arts Festival
|Date:||30 Jun 2017 - 02 Jul 2017|