The South African Museums Association invites the submission of abstracts for its 2019 conference, to be held from 21 to 24 October at the Msunduzi Museum, Pietermaritzburg.
The theme is ‘Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition’. The theme is that of the 2019 ICOM International Museums Day: ‘Cultural Hubs’, and in line with this theme the national conference aims to highlight two key concepts. Firstly, that our museums perform the role of cultural hubs as ‘Networks’, in other words supporting collaborative partnerships with one another. Secondly, when museums function as hubs they are also ‘Cores’ of local communities, serving to invigorate the cultural life of the society that surrounds them. ICOM has provided a sub-theme in addition to ‘Cultural Hubs’, namely ‘The Future of Tradition’, which provides a particularly useful focus for South African museums to consider during the 25th anniversary of democracy. For both good and bad reasons, the place of tradition in our various expressions of cultural heritage is undeniable, but since 2015 an urgent new phase of debate concerning the past has emerged in society at large. The opportunity for professionals within museums and the heritage sector to engage in thoughtful discussions on how our institutions represent tradition while looking towards the future is therefore most fitting. Our emphasis on the past often belies the many ways can museums act as bridges between local communities and other stakeholders. This conference allows us to consider how best to nurture unique traditions or cultural resources and pass them on to future generations. At the same time, as cultural hubs, what efforts can museums make when it comes to tackling key problems which are prevalent in the wider world such as, conflicts, environmental issues, globalisation, unemployment, and social and economic inequalities?
The South African Museums Association invites papers that explore and develop these concepts and ideas and their applicability and significance in the South African context. Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted to Steven Kotze (Chair: SAMA KZN and Chair: Organising Committee) at firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline for submission of abstracts: Monday 1 July 2019 Papers should be 20 minutes in duration. Discussion will follow each paper or follow each session.