The Heritage sector in South Africa today is booming, as people find new ways to affirm their cultures and histories. Silenced and suppressed histories of the majority population are now being researched and projected into public spaces in the form of monuments, rituals, special events and community museums. For many, this carries with it a sense of 'decolonising the minds' from racially-based ways of thinking.
While this is experienced as a healthy corrective to the judgements and racially-exclusive ways of representing the past as practised in the apartheid era, it also embodies the danger of deepening a sense of difference. Policy-makers face the challenge of crafting funding and mangement programmes which achieve a balance between celebrating the richness of diversity while at the same time contributing to a new sense of a collective consciousness which transcends ethnicity.
This paper will explore some of the central issues that arise in discussions at the level of the National Heritage Council, and then provide case studies of how new initiatives and projects are managed at the local government level. It covers the key ingredients of the emerging new national identity, issues of funding and the challenges in trying to achieve community ownership of heritage meanings and uses. Finally, it suggests ways that the academic community can achieve greater integration with the growing heritage sector in the public sphere.
|Keywords:||Heritage, Local Government, National Policy, Post-apartheid, Community Ownership|
Professor, History Department, Rhodes University, South Africa
There are currently no reviews of this product.Write a Review