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The knowledge life cycle: IKS colloquium

14 Jun 2021 - 09:45
Screenshot from IKS Colloquium. Photo courtesy of Grant McNulty.

Debra Pryor and Dr Grant McNulty were invited to present on the FHYA at a Virtual Colloquium held by the DSI-NRF Centre in Indigenous Knowledge Systems (University of Kwa-Zulu Natal) International Platform on 11-12 February 2021.

The title of the colloquium was “Re-visioning the Knowledge Life-Cycle: The Integration of Knowledge Production, Management and Protection from an Indigenous Knowledge Systems Perspective” and included participants from Washington State and Chicago in the US, Guernsey, Namibia, South Africa, Chennai in India and Indonesia.

Some of the key questions asked were: What are the prospects and challenges of interfacing Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) and other knowledge and technology systems including ICT? How can the IKS-based knowledge life cycle be interfaced with other knowledge and technology systems, including ICT, to meet global challenges for sustainable development, social and epistemic justice? How can Western knowledge management instruments (libraries, archives and museums) and stakeholders’ revision their function and practices from an IKS-based knowledge life cycle perspective. What innovative strategies can help mobilise relevant resources for the sustainable development of an international, cross-cultural and cross-regional platform? In what formats (artistic, ICT, journal articles, etc) can an IKS-based knowledge life cycle be articulated?

FHYA were able to share some of their experiences of the challenges of working with open-source software customised for the 500 Year Archive exemplar. We discussed the limits of the open-source software and how they compelled us to work with developers to create a local, sustainable, low resource version in order to better fit the types of materials, curations and epistemological approaches needed for interrogation into the deep past in a multi-disciplinary way. This ensuing discussion indicated that the software offers opportunities and possibilities for addressing the needs of IKS.

The colloquium proved to be a rewarding experience best described by the organisers themselves “We would like to thank you all again for what turned out to be an extraordinary gathering of kindred scholars and practitioners. What Prof [Kaya] and Mayashree quite quickly noted is that you are all at the forefront of grappling with how to manifest the IKS-based knowledge life cycle in your respective disciplines of competence, and it has completely shifted us in terms of thinking about how to build this international platform and initiative around, and in support of, the work you have already undertaken.”

The FHYA will continue to share and learn from this platform as they assist in the Road Map development of this project.