Category: Have your Say

Cultures butchered in a foreign land?

Sebinane Lekoekoe visits the Musée du quai Branly and reflects on the manner in which cultural objects removed from one land are displayed in another. He argues that the communities of origin should play a significant role in deciding how their material is displayed so that it’s significance is not lost.

“Accountability, Transparency and Access to Information”:  A report on ICA’s 2103 Conference

Graham Dominy reports on the first annual conference of the International Council on Archives (ICA) which took place in Brussels in November 2013.

Archival Digitization and the Struggle to Create Useful Digital Reproductions

In a post first published on the Activehistory.ca website Krista McCracken discusses the challenge of preserving context when digitising collections.

Plan of Action for Archive and Paper conservation in museums & archives in South Africa

Monique Vajifdar, an art conservator, posted a proposal to the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) in October 2013 and submitted it as a comment on the Archival Platform website. Vajifdar is stll awaiting a response from the DAC.

South African Taste

Duane Jethro explore the relationships between taste, sensibilities, place and heritage in contemporary South Africa.

Leaving their mark: names recorded on the walls of the Heerenlogement Cave

Heather MacAlister visited a the ‘Heerenlogement”  (Gentleman’s Lodging) a huge cave on the slopes of the Langeberg Mountains in the Western Cape and was fascinated by the names engraved on the walls of the cave. Picking up on the clues provided by names and dates her post uncovers the stories of some of the many travellers, botanists, astronomers, ministers and missionaries who left their mark there.

The Politics of Memory: A Case Study of the South African Archival Landscape

Jaana Kilkki of the National Archives of Finland visited South Africa as a member of the team of a Swedish Development Corporation Agency (SIDA) funded project between the National Archives of Sweden and the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation. In this posts she shares her thoughts on, and insghts into, the South African Archival Landscape.

Records provide the last word in an ongoing family dispute!

Mak (from Makhado) describes a task in which he is required to seek out the records held by the Department of Justice in order to settle a rather messy family dispute.

The TRC and CODESA Failed South Africa: It’s Time We Reflected on This

In this post, first published on the South African Civil Society Information Service website, Frank Meintjies notes that many of the deep-seated social and developmental problesm facing South Africa today link back to the transition processes of the 1990s - including the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) - and concludes that, for significant numbers of marginalised South Africans, discussion of a better future begins with the historical view – and with robust discussion of the transition process itself.

Report on a conference on Legacies of the Apartheid Wars in Southern Africa

Chris Saunders reports on the conference which took place at Rhodes University, Grahamstown in July 2013

Healing History: Overcoming Racism, seeking Equity, Building Community

Lucelle Campbell reports on the Caux Initiatives of Change Healing History: Overcoming Racism, seeking Equity, Building Community Conference in which she participated in Switzerland in July 2013. The Conference explored the history and legacy of racism, and considered ways i which communities might work together to build trust, heal wounded memories, reprioritise socio-economic challenges and create cultures of inclusion for the benefit of all.

Is the Archive Ever Enough?

Goa Gaberone, considering the tragic life of Mbuyisa Makhubo, the student carrying the dying Hector Pietersen in Sam Nzima’s iconic photograph, asks, is the archive ever enough?

National Heritage Council embarks on a drive to define the concept of ‘Heritage’.

“Heritage is what is preserved from the past as the living collective memory of a people not only to inform the present about the past but also to equip successive generations to fashion their future. It is what creates a sense of identity and assures rootedness and continuity, so that what is brought out by dynamism of culture is not changed for its own sake, but it is a result of people’s conscious choice to create a better life.” Send your comments on this definition to the National Heritage Council!

Democracy is the freedom to change your mind!

Extract from a speech delivered by Helen Zille at the Democratic Alliance’s Freedom Day Celebrations in KwaZulu-Natal, 27 April 2013