Have Your Say: 1
Public memorial lectures as platforms to celebrate intellectual heritage
Vuyani Booi considers the upsurge in memorial lectures that commemorate the struggle icons. He argues that while universities use these to reposition themselves in ways that are 'politically correct' they need to embrace the intellectual legacies more holistically.
Re-Placing the Past
Duane Jethro reflects on the dynamics of heritage formation in Berlin and South Africa with reference to the work of two important German artists and the Sunday Times Heritage Project.
By indirections, [we] find directions out. - Polonius in 'Hamlet'
Robert Greig reflects on the public and personal repositories of evidence that informed the narrative of his just published novel, In Forests based on the story of Ros Ballingall who reportedly disappeared in the Knysna Forest in 1969.
Who is entitled to a state funeral and what does it tell us about commemoration in South Africa?
Dineo Skosana considers debates that have arisen around the decision to accord the late Senzo Meyiwa and official provincial funeral.
People in the city
Lucelle Campbell comments on the plight of homeless people in Cape Town and the deep historical divisions that entrench inequalities in the city.
Governance-based evidence and service delivery protests
Isabel Schelnack-Kelly, responding to an Archival Platform post on the AGSA’s report on local government 2012-2013 considers the link between governance-based evidence and service delivery protests. She argues that the lack of credible information compromises accountability and fuels protests.
University of Fort Hare: Post-graduate Archives and Records Management diploma
Vuyani Booi offers an overview of the University of Fort Hare Post-graduate Archives and Records Management diploma programme
Memorialising a barbarous act of aggression: the first Maseru raid (1982)
Sebinane Lekoekoe, writes about the 1982 cross-border raid, in which 42 people were killed and many others wounded, from the perspective of the citizens of his country, whose sovereignty was violated. He asks how this act could or should be memorialised and how survivors, who still suffer, might be compensated.
De Kock ordered my sister's killing - and no, his debt is not paid
Jane Quin's op-ed published online by the Daily Maverick on 27 June 2014, shortly before de Kock's parole application was considered by the Minister of Justice raises an issue that will resonate with many South Africans: the quest for justice and the failure of the state to follow through on the recommendations by the TRC. In this op-ed Jane reflects on the killing of Jacqueline Quin and husband Leon Meyer, known in exile as Joe, four other MK operatives, Nomkhosi Mary Mini, Lulamile Dantile, Vivian Stanley Mathee, Monwabisi Themba Mayoli (all South African citizens) and three Lesotho nationals Mankaelang Mohatle, Boemo Tau and Amelia Leseuyeho in a cross-border raid in Lesotho in 1985.
Refections on Jane Quin’s Maverick piece
In her post Reflections on Jane Quin's piece, De Kock ordered my sister's killing: an no he has not paid for it, Theresa Edlmann touches on the unresolvedness of notions of reconciliation, justice and accountability in post-apartheid South Africa, and how they form part of the complex legacies of the TRC 16 years after the last hearings took place. Edlmann concludes that what is needed right now is compassion and wisdom from both government and society, to enable a healing and re-humanising process governed by respect, not political expedience, trite notions of reconciliation or simplistic understandings of justice.
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
Leopold Scholtz, “The SADF in the Border War 1966-1989”
A review by Chris Saunders.
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