13 December 2010

Dangerous jellyfish hit EC beaches
13 December 2010
Guy Rogers
A vagrant species of jellyfish that packs a painful sting has appeared off Eastern Cape beaches.

Issuing the warning on Sunday, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University researcher Dr Nadine Strydom said the dangerous interloper is unlike the usual, large, benign clear-coloured species of jellyfish, Rhizostoma Pulmo, which often strands on our our beaches and has no stingers.

The newcomer, the red compass jellyfish (genus Chrysaora), is a species from South Africa’s west coast and it does not usually occur in Eastern Cape waters.

But it is here now, and bathers should take care, Strydom said.

“My research team worked in the surf zone off Sundays (River) estuary and were left amazed at the sheer numbers in the water around us. We also all experienced the painful stings,” Strydom said.

“Once in the surf zone, the tentacles often break off and can still deliver a powerful sting.”

Strydom said she was not sure what had prompted the arrival of this strange oceanic swarm.

“But the onshore winds have driven thousands of these red jellyfish into shallow water, onto beaches and into estuaries from Port Elizabeth to East Kleinemonde, and possibly beyond.

The sting is harmful but not lethal. Caution should be taken with small children as severe stings could result in allergic reactions.”

Bathers are encouraged to be vigilant in the water and to take anti-sting medication and antihistamines with them to the beach.

“In the absence of medication, urine is an ancient but effective remedy to neutralise the protein toxin,” Strydom said.

For information visit the web site http://sajellywatch.uwc.ac.za. — The Herald

SOURCE: www.dispatch.co.za

08 December 2010

NEW BOOK



Popular Snapshots and Tracks to the Past

D. de Lame and C. Rassool (eds)

Series: Studies in Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 171

296 p.

ISBN: 978-9-0747-5279-4

Flexible, informal appropriations of individual creations can combine with other elements and produce specific strategic positioning, act as markers in power games and rally partisans. Yet, in essence they do not have this function. In the first place, appropriations are acts of creation in their own right; they are “expressive acts”. Accordingly, they are comparable with many other collective expressions of belonging that reaffirm the existence of a community and testify to its capability of assimilating novelty and (re)building the past. In this respect, popular cultural expressions do not differ fundamentally from collective rituals, where memory is enacted and modified through creative changes enabling the social assimilation of novelty. Objects, texts, sets of norms, and museums are like snapshots open to interpretation, ready for recycling.


To order

See how to order on the following webpage: http://www.africamuseum.be/publications

By e-mail publications@africamuseum.be / by fax: +32 2 7695511 / or by regular mail: Publications Service, RMCA Leuvensesteenweg 13, 3080 Tervuren, Belgium

Tel: +32 2 769 5208

Moreover, if you would like to be kept promptly and efficiently informed, by e.mail, about the publication of new works in Human Sciences, simply return to the Royal Museum for Central Africa, Publications Service, 13 Leuvensesteenweg, 3080 Tervuren, Belgium.

By fax: + 32 (0)2 767 02 42 / by e-mail: dirk.de.croes@africamuseum.be

02 December 2010

Ukuhlela ulwazi nenkumbulo zoluntu kwiMyuziyam yaseAlbany


Bongani Mgijima: IMyuziyam yase Albany ,eRhini

Iphepha elifundwe kwiNkomfa Yesizwe Yesibini ka SEK Mqhayi
EBerlin, 29-30 Novemba 2010

Ndifuna ukusivelela esi sihloko sam ngenye inkalo. Uvimba wolwazi ungolu hlobo uMbembe awuchaza ngalo “ sisakhiwo, umqondiso weziko loluntu, elinye lamalungu amiselwe ngurhulumente” ngamanye amaxesha iba “luthotho lwamaxwebhu afumaneka kwesi sakhiwo”. Ukuze la maxwebhu anike intsingiselo kufanele ukuba akhethwe, alungiswe aze acaciswe ngendlela apha eyenza ukuba kubelula ukuwafumana nokuwasebenzisa. Nangona kunjalo, mna ndifuna ukunidanisa ndithethe ngemyuziyam njengesisele solwazi. Ngokwenza njalo ndizakuthetha ngomboniso owawuboniswe kwi-Albany Museum eseGrahamstown.

Eyam injongo kukucacisa ukuba kwenzeka ntoni xa ulwazi olukuvimba okanye imyuziyam isiba sisisele solwazi izifumanisa ke isakhelwa umkhanya luluntu. Umboniso esizakuthetha ngawo ideclassification wawujolise kwindlela apho iimyuziyam ingakumbi i-Albany Museum ezithe ngokwemisebenzi yazo nangempazamo enkulu zazibona sele zinegalelo elikhulu ekwakheni ulwazi lobuhlanga.

Mhlawumbi kuya kubaluleka ukuba ndichaze ngeendlela ezisebenza ngayo iimyuziyam phambi kokuba ndingene emxholweni .Iimyuziyam ingakumbi ezo zingembali yenkcubeko zizingca ngokuqokelela izinto zakudala.Ezi ngqokelela zezinto zifumaneka ngokuthi kubekho abantu abahamba beziqokelela, zithengwe kodwa kumaxesha amaninzi zifumaneka ngokuthi zibe sisipho. Xa loo nto ifumanekileyo ifika emyuziyam ifakwa kuluhlu lwezinto ezifumanekileyo inikwe inombolo ngokolo luhlu, igama lalowo wenze isipho, imvelaphi yesipho nenkcaza ngaso konke oku kubhalwa kuluhlu lwezinto ezifikayo. Xa oko kugqityiwe umgcini myuziyam uthi athathe isigqibo sokuba oko kuhlaliswa kwigumbi logcino-mpahla zemyuziyam okanye kuboniswa ngayo loo nto, Ukuba loo nto kuza kubukiswa ngayo, umgcini-myuziyam uthi asebenzise olaa lwazi ebelufake kolwa luhlu luneengcombolo zaloo nto kwakunye nolunye ulwazi abanalo kuphando abalwenzileyo ngento leyo. Umgcini-myuziyam unakho ukuthatha isigqibo sokwamkela okanye angamkeli izinto eziziswa emyuziyam. Ezinye iimyuziyam zithe zasungula imigaqo-nkqubo yokwamkela okanye zingamkeli izinto eziziswa emyuziyam.

Olu khetho ludala usukuzwano kwiimyuziyam nezinto eziziswayo kuba kufanele kuthathwe isigqibo sokuba zeziphi ezibalulekileyo izeziphi ezingabalulekanga izinto. Iimyuziyam zindawo zoluntu ezibalulekileyo kakhulu ngoba zizo ezakhayo nezibuyisela ulwazi ngoluntu. Azijolisanga kuphela ekubiyiseleni ubunjani bezinto ngaphambili koko ziyazenza zibe luqilima zibonakale xa zisetyenziswa okanye kusenziwa imiboniso ngazo.

IMyuziyam yaseAlbany yayicingisisa le mbonakalo namandla angummangaliso xa yayiceba ukwenza umboniso ozigocagocayo. Lo mboniso owawubizwa ngokuba ngu-declassification wathi ke waxhonywa kwumyuziyam yembali yase-Albany. Lo mboniso ke wawuligalelo lomyuziyam kwingxoxo-mpikiswano eyayikho kwiDyunivesithi kaRhodes emalunga nobuhlanga.

Le ngoxo mpikiswano eRhodes yavunjululwa ngabafundi ngexesha le midlao eyayiphakathi kwedyunivesithi ezintathu eyayibanjelwe apho. Aba bafundi baye bathuka esinye sezifundiwa u Gqirha Banda bemyuca ngobuhlanga bephantsi kwempembelelo zenyembezi zikaVitoliya. Isiphatha mandla saleDyunivesithi uGqirha Badat waye wasungula iphulo elichasene nobuhlanga. Nayo ke imyuziyam yayiphenjelelwe nazingamango zika Lynch no Alberti xa besithi “ iimyuziyam zibe yinxalenye yokwakhiwa kwezigaba zengcamango ezisekele ubuhlanga ukusukela mandulo uzakuthi ga ngoku ngokuchasene negalelo lazo labumini lokufuna ukuba ngogalel ebhayini”.

U declassification wayenzelwe ukuba ube ngumboniso wokuzigocagoca ojolise kwiinkqubo zemyuziyam. “Ufundo ngeemyuziyam nokuzigocagoca lutshintsho lwendlela esicinga ngayo ngeemyuziyam” , utsho uShelley Butler. “Oku kujolise kwiinkqubo zemyuziyam ngokwayo ekufana nokuqokelelwa kwezinto, ukuhlelwa kwazo nenkcubeko yokubekwa kwazo emyuziyam, ufundo ngemyuziyam nokuzigocagoca kwazo lubonisa ngohlobo ekwenziwa ngalo imiboniso yezinye iinkcubeko mhlawumbi lube luhlobo olungakhethiyo. Imiboniso ithi yenziwe ngenxa yenkcubeko, imbali, amaziko nepolitiki yabo Bantu ibachaphazelayo”.

Lo mboniso wawuquka izifundo ezininzi ngokohlobo owenziwe ngalo yaza loo nto yanegalelo elimangalisayo ekuqokelelweni kwezinto ezizezase-Albany Museum ngokusisigxina. Lo mboniso ufikelela futhi ungqamane nezinye zezifundo zilandelayo i-anthropholoji, nengqokelela yembali nobugcisa. Le miboniso ikhethwe kumasebe ahlukeneyo asemyuziyam noluhlu lokuqokelelwa yimyuziyam kwasetyenziswa njengesixhobo senkqubo yokhetho. Okwanxulumanisa oko kwakukhethiwe ukuze kuphume umboniso kungenxa yokuba okwakuqokelelwe kwabalwa kuluhlu lokubhala okungenisiweyo emyuziyam ngokobuhlanga umzekelo “aBantu’, ‘oKafile’, ‘oonoqhakankcu’ ‘nabangokuzalwa’ balapho njalo njalo. Okunye okucatshuliweyo kwakufumaneka kwinzululwazi yakudala nakwezinye iincwadi kusetyenziswa le ndlela inye.

Oku kwakuyeyona njongo yokwenza lo mboniso ingakumbi ukubona indlela ulwazi lobuhlanga olwalungalo, mhlambi nendlela oluhlala luyiyo nolumiswe ngayo ngokweenkqubo zokubekwa kwezinto kwaye kukhona imibuzo ekhoyo ngokubekiselele kutshintsho olwenzekileyo kwiimyuziyam zonke. Utshontsho kwiimyuziyam belujongwa njengelinge likarhulumente ekuzameni ukufaka abo Bantu babengangeniswanga bona kwinkqubo zeemyuziyam ngurhulumente wangaphambili. Nangona yena uLeslie Witz ekucacisa mhlophe ukuba nangona zicikozwa ezindlela kodwa zinyathelelwe phantsi yinto ebizwa ngokuba yi ‘dilemma label’ apho kwenziwa “iileyibheli zize zibekwe kwimiboniso esele okhona. Uxoxa athi ‘ezi dilemma labels zingacacisa nangakubi kodwa ziphelwa zibekwa kule miboniso ngokusisigxina”.

Ezi rejista zigcina ulwazi ngezinto ezikhoyo emyuziyam zizizixhobo ezibalulekileyo kakhulu. Olu lwazi lufakwe kule rejista lusetyenziswa ekuchazeni uhlobo lwento leyo kwaye lulo olunika umkhombandlela kuhlobo umgcini-myuziyam enza ngalo umboniso. Ukuze ubani enze ingqiqo ngoko kukwirejista kubalulekile ukuba kufakwe ngokwendawo yayo, ngokwenkcazelo lufakwe nangokweenkqubo ezisetyenziswa zimyuziyam. Iinkqubo zokuzifaka ezi zinto zibhalwa kwirejista yokuzigcina, zibekwe ngokwamanani, zihlaliswe ngokwendawo zazo zize ziboniswe njengezixhobo eziboniswa emyuziyam.

Oku kuhlela, inombolo nogcino kuko okunika intsingiselo ngento leyo. Ngokohlobo oluqhelekileyo lweemyuziyam, abantu abandwendwela iimyuziyam abanalungelo lokufikelela kwiirejista ezinolwazi ngezinto zasemyuziyam, oku kuyimfihlo kwaye kugcinwa bucala-kugcinwe phantsi kweliso elibukhali ngamaxesha amaninzi kuyatixelwa esefini.

U declassification
ivulele ithuba lokubonisa ukuba kwenzeka ntoni xa ulwazi ebelugcinwe emfihlakalweni luthi luvezwe esiluntwini ngohlobo lokusebenzisa imiboniso? Kwenzeka ntoni kwindlela ezihlelwa ngayo ezi zinto? Kumaxesha amaninzi kubakho umahluko phakathi kwezinto ezigcinwe kule rejista okanye kuvimba wolwazi nezo ziphela sezifikelela eluntwini. Lo mboniso wenziwa kanye ngokwale ngqiqo yokuba Lonke ulwazi kuquka nolo lobuhlanga luyaqulunqwa, iimyuziyam ziindawo apho kuqulunqwa iindlela zokugcina olu lwazi, lwenziwe lube luqilima futhi lube semthethweni. Umboniso wokurhoxiswa kokubhengezwa komthetho wemiba yasemyuziyam ojolise ekuthatheni iinkqubo ezenziwa yimyuziyam ezithi zifihlwe eluntwini, zizise eluntwini ukuze lona luzihle amahlongwane.

U Declassification njengomboniso wokuzigocagoca wawenzelwa ukuba ababuki beze neyabo indlela abatolika ngayo lo mboniso. Iinkcazelo ezikhutshwa kwirejista yezinto ezifunyenwe yimyuziyam zasuswa kwezi zinto ukwenzela ukuba uluntu linike ingqiqo yalo njengoko oko kuchasene neenkqubo zasemyuziyam zokubeka inkcazelo kwinto nganye eboniswayo. Ukuze lo mboniso ube ngumboniso onomxholo iqela labantu lamiswa ukunika ingcaciso ngeenjongo zalo mboniso.

Iindlela neenkqubo ezaziwayo zemiboniso zasetyenziswa ekutsaleni umdla kwenye indlela yokuqokelela, ifumane ize ihlele izinto ngokohlobo lwazo. Oko kuthetha ukuba umboniso wasemyuziyam ukujongela phantsi indlela ekuqokelelwa ngayo izinto yimyuziyam. Nqu nesihloko salo mboniso sasisusela kwingcingane ephangaleleyo kakhulu. Okokuqala nokubalulekileyo lo mboniso wenziwa ngendlela efanelekileyo yokuhlela izinto ezifunyenwe yimyuziyam.

Okwesibini, icacisa indlela apho ulwazi oluyimfihlo olugcinwa kwirejista yezinto ezingeniswa emyuziyam oluthi luvezwe ekuhleni ngokusebenzisa imiboniso. Nesihloko somboniso siyabonisa ngendlela apho ulwazi olufumaneke emyuziyam eluncede ngayo ekwahluleni iintlanga nezizwe ngokwamaqela asemthethweni. Lilonke ke lo mboniso ubonisile ukuba ulwazi ngokobuhlanga asinto esizelwe nayo koko yinto eyenziwe luluntu namaziko afana neemyuziyam awayephambili ekwenzeni lo msebenzi. Ulwazi luyindlela yokusikhumbuza ngezinto futhi ke iimyuziyam ngamaziko oluntu ajongene nokwenza olo lwazi lufumaneke eluntwini. Njengoko uSean Field esithi “ iinkumbulo asilulo uyilo olusephepheni nolusisigxina lwemvelaphi koko zenziwa zinyanzelwe ngohlobo ounzima ukuluqonda. Iinkumbulo ziiseti zolwazi umntu alufumeneyo, imifanekiso-ngqondweni neemvakalelo ezivezwa ukufezekisa iimfuno ezithile kwakunye noxinzelelo lwexesha langoku”.

Kungenxa yolu xinzelelo olubangele ukuba i-Albany Museum izame ukuthabatha eli thuba lokuzihlola ekungafundini oko sele ikwazi. Mhlawumbi umntu angazicingela ukuba umboniso ofana nalo ungaba ngumkhombandlela kwiingxoxo zokulwa ucalucalulo nezobuyiswano. Nangona naye uCatherine Lambley ebonisa kwiphepha lakhe ebelandlale kwiNkomfa yeeMyuziyam zoMzantsi Afrika apho wayesitsho khona ukuba kuyamangalisa ukuqaphela ukuba ingxelo ebuya eluntwini ngomba kadeclassification inqabile kakhulu. Imibuzo yaphakanyiswa ejolise ekuphuhliseni umboniso osisenzo sokuzigocagoca ojolise kuCalucalulo kwixesha apho iimyuziyam zoMzantsi Afrika zikwinkqubo yazo yoPhuhliso noLwakhiwo ngokutsha kwazo. Apho zonke ziphantsi koMgaqo-nkqubo woTshintsho woMzantsi Afrika kwaye oko kuze nemiboniso enjongo ikukuguqula ukungalingani kwamaqela enkcubeko.

Kungenzeka ukuba inzolo eyayikho ngokubhekiselele kumboniso yayisenzeka ngenxa yeengxoxo ezazikho kwalapho kufutshane kwiDyuniveithi yaseRhodes. Mhlawumbi kungenzeka ukuba kunzima nje ukuyiqonda le nto kungenxa yoko kuchazwa nguCrowley noMatthews abathi xa bethetha “ ngaphandle kwenkcazelo eyaneleyo yocalucalulo, inkqubo yobuyiswano ngokobuhlanga ifana nje nenkcitha-xesha".

Nanjengoko udeclassification angazange aphumelele ekuphuhliseni ingxoxo yokulwa nocalu-calulo kodwa uphumelele ekunikeni iingxaki kwiinkqubo ekusetyenzwa ngazo kwiimyuziyam apho abaninzi besithi ziinkqubo ezingenakuchukunyiswa.


Ukusonga intetho yam ndingathanda ukuthi singabasebenzi basemyuziyam kufanele sinyamekele isilumkiso sika Dipesh Chakrabarty xa esiyala esithi “kungaphaya kolwazi lopolitiko ukuba kusoloko kukho isikhala maxesha onke, ukususela kumanqanaba abo bacinizelweyo, abo vimba benu bolwazi babubo ubuvuvu ngoba thina sinaso isakhono”.

* Le ncoko iguqulelwe esiXhoseni ngu Vuyokazi Stofile.

24 November 2010

Museums coming alive - at night

By: Zongezile Matshoba

It is with great interest to note that museums are doing great efforts to accommodate everyone, even at night. Firstly it was Cathy Lambley of Albany Museum’s the Education Department that did not want to miss such opportunity and fun, influenced by the movie, Night of the Museum 1, 2 and 3, by Shawn Levy. Lambley called her monthly programme Bedtime Stories. Children, armed with torches kindly donated by Pick n Pay’s John Campbell, sit around her listening to lovely museum related stories before exploring the dark galleries (lights are deliberately switched off).

Seemingly, another Eastern Cape museum, East London Museum has followed suite. Its programme which last about an hour-and-a-half starts with supper at 6pm, followed by the night tour at 7pm.

Friends of the museums, visitors, students, clubs, NGOs, CBOs, businesses, and government departments really need to come to the party and support ventures of this kind. Museums use this profit to sustain themselves.

Source: Daily Dispatch - Museum’s exhibits to ‘come to life’ at night

Report back on Sterkstroom Museum-Ithongo exhibition opening

On the 19th of November 2010-Albany Museum(Anthropology dept)went to attend Ithongo exhibition opening hosted by Sterkstroom Museum.The invite came as part of the colaboration made by DSRAC- Queenstown District office led by Mr Zuko Baninzi.

The exhibition focus was to redefine Diviners/Amagqirha's status in our new democratic dispensation to be respected and acknowledged consultants who like their western counterparts should practice their job in daylight.Previously these traditional consultants were somewhat ignored or defined as whitch doctors,something that highlights part of their job not necesarily focussing most on that.Yet that also affected their status in the communities they serve and to the people they offer service to.In other words they were looked down upon their calling and practice.Something that our current Government has revised inorder to give them space to practice even in state hospitals once they prove to be doing what they claim.

So we went there to support our collegues in promoting Divinity at a higher level.As well as their effort to strike balance since they also have loaned our Anthropological banners to be used for the exhibition.During the opening credit was given to Mr Mpho Molapisi who is the the initiator of the project and through which we later extended to know more about the diviners training process prior their declaration as fully fledged traditional consultants.

Coming to the programme,it was well publicised and supported by the community of Sterkstroom and surroundings.Not to mention the backing they have received from the Provincial dept of Sports,Recreation ,Arts and Culture under Museums and Heritage section.When it comes to the attendence the local municipality was represented,The Police sector,Local schools,Church community,Museum board ,Amagqirha/Diviners as well as other invited guests.We were fortunate to share the platform with the Museum and Heritage directorate to further market Albany Museum as champions of Outreach and educational programmes.We had a chance to open the minds of people about the vital role that our living cultural heritage does in our daily lives and so forth and also to install pride and dignity towards practioners themselves to support and work with museums.They must know that it is their place to visit and share their knowledge to those in need and for future referencing.Indeed this a very successful event.

Here are some of the photos taken on that day as follows:







09 November 2010

Deputy President recognises Museums

By: Zongezile Matshoba

It is with great interest to note that museums and their contribution to society are being recognised in the highest level of our government.

Deputy President of South Africa, Kgalema Motlanthe, delivering his keynote address at the launch of Ray Alexander-Simons Museum and Heritage Square, Gugulethu, Cape Town, said:

Establishing a museum and heritage square in Ray Alexander-Simons’ name will reflect history back to our people, especially the up and coming generation.

It is a positive step and should serve as a precedent for countless other comrades who are fading into historical amnesia after their selfless contribution to our freedom, often at a great cost to themselves.

The contents of this museum will bring our past back into life to remind the present and future generations that the present did not appear from nowhere.

The present is the outcome of the past and therefore the incubator of the future.
Often the clutter of the moment blinds us to these historical realities, of which comrade Ray was part of the agency that generated them.

As such this museum will be exhorting us to value the treasure inherent in a lived state of democracy without the tempting complacency to view it as a natural entitlement.

Interestingly, the 2011 theme for the International Museum Day under the banner of ICOM is Museum and Memory. Accordingto ICOM's website, the IMD 2011 will focus on the African continent whose cultural contribution to the world is often unknown and deserves to be promoted.

Albany Museum in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape Province, has been at the forefront in celebrating IMD by taking the museum to the people.

Source:
The Presidency
ICOM - IMD 2011

02 November 2010

RHODES STUDENT EXHIBITIONS AT ALBANY MUSEUM

Rhodes Fine Arts Graduate Student Exhibitions 2010

Following on the success of last year’s graduate student show ‘walkabout’, the Rhodes Fine Arts Department is pleased to present the graduate students for 2010.

This year’s exhibition event will take place on 3 November and will commence at the Art School Gallery in Somerset Street at 5pm and then move on to visit exhibition venues nearby.

The decision to showcase the graduate submissions in their entirety as opposed to an edited selection of work in the Art School Gallery was first initiated last year. In exhibiting all works in their various venues the integrity of the original submissions is maintained and the public is invited to view this in a number of exhibition sites and exciting installation spaces.

The graduate exhibitions represent the culmination of four years of focused study in the visual arts and reflect the art student’s growth of individual vision and often rigorous self-reflexive interrogation. Students have sought and found appropriate contemporary creative means to express diverse concepts and ideas, often in a strong and unique personal vocabulary.

This year’s submissions encompass a wide variety of media including, photography, performance, video, painting, drawing, sculpture, installation and print making.

Some of the shows in brief are Willem Venter’s ‘Lylekkerland’, a series of large scale drawings that examine the innate violence in the act of laughing; Jessica Foli’s reinvention of the classic fairy tale through sculpture in her ‘Happily Ever After?’; Cassandra Wilmot presents ‘Scan’ a three part interrelated series of print works inspired by issues around privacy and access, personal security and policing and Amirah Tajdin’s collection of photographs ‘The Garish Melancholy of Everywhere and Nowhere,’ took the artist on a quest through nine cities across America, the Middle East and South Africa in search of evocations of familiarity in characters and spaces.

The graduate students for 2010 are (in the order in which their work will be viewed): Whitney Turner, Ruth Nussbaum, Martin Lund, Rebekah Spyker, Willem Venter, Jessica Foli, Amirah M. Tajdin, Nicole Robinson, Jarrett Erasmus, Mary Hensman, Amie Tarr, Cassandra Wilmot, Lynne Avis, Daniel Hewson, Nyaniso Lindi, Mathias Chirombo, Krystal Kruger, Candice Cruse, Jo Higgins, Pips Heydenrych, Siphesihle Biyela, Warren Kernickm, Xanthé Jackson, Ivy Kulundu and Emalie Bingham.

A map to the various venues will be available at opening at the Art School Gallery along with an accompanying catalogue.
More information can be obtained by mailing Rat Western n.western@ru.ac.za

SOURCE: www.ru.ac.za .

Some of the Student Exhibitions can be viewed at the Albany History Museum and Natural Science Museum. Open on Mondays to Fridays ( 08h00 - 17h00).

29 October 2010

Interim Storage for Fragile Artwork

Interim Storage for Fragile Artwork

GLASS / PERSPEX



Condition reports – description / measurements / condition – note any
scratches or cracks
Make sure they are clean / dust free
Label if necessary on the side that is not printed on
Handle with extreme care
Separate with bubble-wrap against a wall
o horizontally as less likely to fall
o at an angle



If possible envelop entirely with foam-core
FOAM-CORE WRAPPING –
o cut piece of foam-core double the length of the glass/Perspex(with 5-10cm
extra on both sides
o fold over length-wise


o double over sides and staple



o slip cover onto glass and fold over end bit and stick together with package
tape



Note any cracks or breaks on outside of covering (with indicator card)



Place stacked glass on floor covered with layers of foam-core
SECURE DUST FREE area with good circulation of air



FRAMED PHOTOGRAPHS

Condition reports – description / measurements / condition – note any
scratches or marks
Make sure they are clean / dust free
Label if necessary so identifiable on the back in pencil
Handle with care
Secure corners with bubble-wrapped cushioning secured with parcel tape
o place corner (face down) on the centre of a piece of bubble-wrap lying
diagonally
o flap over the bubble-wrap onto the corner
o fold in each side and tape down at back



Stack horizontally if possible
o face-to-face
o at an angle
Place stacked pictures on floor covered with layers of foam-core (line
flooring/shelving)
SECURE DUST-FREE area with circulation of air



**Ideally kept in place specially set aside and fumigated

Words compiled by: Amy van Wezel
Photographs: William Jervois

06 October 2010

Museum - In and Out

by: Zongezile Matshoba

These photos and video show both the Albany Natural Science Museum and the Albany History Museum. For directions, please click here.









05 October 2010

2010 Heritage day celebrations report


On the 22nd of September Albany Museum dispatched 3 staff members namely Phumeza,Theodora and Luvuyo to go & represent the museum in provincial Heritage day celebrations held in Gqogqorha great place-Tsomo.This was an event organised by DSRAC,House of traditional leaders,EC Tourism ,Chris Hani District municipality and other stake holders.The event was scheduled to last 3 days i.e 22-24 Sept.The organising of the event was a success and well publicised as per the turnout figures.

Upon our arrival in the area things were not up to standard yet but we manage to manipulate our ways and made a remarkable contribution in terms of museum markerting.Something that the people of Tsomo will always remember. We rose above challenges of the day by focussing on what we went there for. So our artefacts combined with others from Amathole Museum were so attractive to locals,school groups and visitors in general.Through Mr Baninzi who invited us and other heritage institutions we have made a difference in the lives of the people who have never been to the museum.

Many thanks to our management,Albany Museum staff members who supported this event and Mr Baninzi of Dsrac-Queenstown for making it possible for Albany Museum to be there.This has shown a greater need to establish inter-museum collaborations in future not only to improve our service delivery but to create also a sense of pride in what we are doing.



04 October 2010

Robben Island Museum Spring School Updates

On the 23rd of September 2010, Ms Nozipho, HoD: Mobile Museum of Albany Museum and four learners Sibabalwe Quma of Victoria High School, Bill Jokani of Nombulelo High School, Luthando Dyan of Wilsons Party Farm School and Asiphe Stoffel of Farmer field Farm School travelled to Robben Island. They were attending the annual spring school. The theme was Africa Unite and Fight Xenophobia.

The spring school has been attended by students from all nine provinces and other African ccountries such as Namibia, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo and Zimbabwe. It consisted of xenophobia workshop, umrabulo, knowledge hunt, electives, Heritage Day celebrations and an open day where all participants received certificates.
Umrabulo is a Xhosa word, meaning to sip, and in this case its symbolic is sipping from the cup of knowledge. There were ex-political prisoners who facilitated umrabulo.

For the knowledge hunt the participants were divided into groups that had to complete tasks.

In another activity called electives, there were five choices namely Radio, African music, Paper recycling, Storytelling and Print making.

Sibabalwe chose radio, Luthando chose music, Bill chose storytelling and Asiphe chose paper recycling.

Siba said radio is very exciting but yet stressful because they slept at 3am and woke up 6am. Bill said storytelling is so exciting. Luthando said he learnt how to play music using horns and drums and Asiphe said that She learnt how to make frames and gift boxes with recycled paper. All learnt lots of things like the value of human dignity and heritage.

Robben Island is such a wonderful and peaceful place, although it was a prison. It is a world heritage site. Something very interesting about it is that there is no crime. Spring school has an awesome experience and the new friendships are made.

The spring school facilitators drafted a manifesto for the spring school, and a task team that will facilitate workshops in the provinces was elected. These workshops will involve museum educators of each province.

Albany Museum management and Mobile Museum Services Department would like to thank the Robben Island management and staff for this opportunity and the funding of the Spring School.

27 September 2010

Visit to Richmond House 18 Sept 2010

Parts (inc flagpole) of the original Cock's Castle used for Richmond House museum
The painting of Cock's Castle in 1920s.
The original lamppost of Cock's Castle & extract from family Bible
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22 September 2010

Museum conquers Grahamstown airwaves

By: Zongezile Matshoba

Albany Museum used the Heritage Month to gunner home its dominance around Grahamstown. Nozipho Madinda, the Museum's Mobile Museum Services Head took along the four learners that are going to Robben Island Museum's Isivivane Solwazi Spring School. They joined DJ Luvo on his weekly Afternoon Drive Time Show (15h00 - 18h00) on Tuesday to tell the listeners of Grahamstown FM Community Radio how they feel about their trip, and what they hope to learn and see.

Phumlani Cimi, the Museum Botanist, has been the guest of Kwanele Butana who runs a traditional programme every Saturdays from 13h00 - 14h00. He shared the value of the Herbarium, and how it identifies every plant's usefulness and danger. The Herbarium has over 200 000 specimen. Cimi, who specialises on indeginous plants, has also developed a recipe book on nutrious indigenous plant for the blind.

20 September 2010

Young Grahamstonians off to Robben Island

By: Zongezile Matshoba

Albany Museum has been invited to send four learners and one staff member to the Robben Island Museum’s Isivivane Solwazi 2010 Spring School Nation Building Camp. Nozipho Madinda, the Head of Mobile Museum Services will be leading the delegation consisting of four learners from the farm and urban areas. The learners are Asiphe Stoffel, 15, from Farmerfield, Bill Jokani, 18 from Nombulelo SSS, Luthando Dyan, 14 from Wilson’s Party Farm School, Sibabalwa Quma, 17 from VG High School. The Spring School is from the 24 September to 03 October 2010.

The learners will be privileged to learn more about Robben Island from the ex-political prisoners. They will have to engage their peers around the theme:

“Resistance and Resilience of the Human Spirit against the Forces of Evil - Africa Unite & Fight Xenophobia”.

The learners have two pre-tasks that they have to work on. Firstly, they have to conduct research in their community on Xenophobia. This will help in knowing what their communities say, feel and think about xenophobia, and how it can be stopped.

Secondly, they have to bring along a cultural or traditional attire. They need to find out what their special attire says about them and their immediate community, when is it worn, by whom and why is it important to them or their community. This will be an opportunity for the learner to celebrate and introduce their culture to their peers from South Africa and Namibia.

During their time on the island the journey will take the participants through the layered history of Robben Island, which are banishment, hardship, isolation and imprisonment interwoven with resistance, resilience, tolerance and the triumph of the human spirit over hardship.

Science learners test water

By: Zongezile Matshoba

Dr Jim Cambray of the Ichythyology Department at Albany Museum celebrated the World Water Monitoring Day on 18 September 2010 with Khanya Maths and Science Club. The club is a joint project by Rhodes University’s Chemistry Department under Joyce Sewry, and Albany Museum’s Nozipho Madinda of the Mobile Museum Services.

The group went for an outing, testing the spring water just outside Grahamstown first, before moving further to the Blaaukrantz River.

Recent reports have indicated that the spring water is a free, God-given gift one would find throughout the Makana Municipality following the recent media reports. People bring buckets and lots of containers every day, and there are long queues especially on weekends.

For further reporting, please visit:

http://www.dispatch.co.za/article.aspx?id=434713

09 September 2010

Lwandle is Museum of the Year in the Western Cape
Category: General News
Posted on January 25, 2010

The Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum, the first and only museum in a Western Cape township, has been named as the Museum of the Year for 2009 by the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport.

This is a museum which, despite recurring financial crises and constant threats of closure, has through its committed staff and board, built an institution which has redefined the traditional role and immediate tasks of a museum. It has made a substantial contribution in turning a place which under apartheid was only officially recognized as a place of hostels for male migrant labourers into a community.

Moreover, through developing relationships with organizations, like the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, the South African Heritage Resources Agency, the District Six Museum and the Robben Island Museum, it has played a substantive role in creating, promoting and sustaining important and structured relationships across communities in the Western Cape through an emphasis on programmes that draw upon the youth seeking to recover memories of lives under apartheid from their elders.

The museum deliberately rejects apartheid notions of community, where these are based upon racial and/or ethnic identities. Instead it seeks to establish the spatial configuration of Lwandle and all its residents as its immediate community. This is evident in all its exhibitions, particularly its permanent exhibition Iimbali zeKhaya (Stories of Home).

All the museum’s exhibitions have been central in establishing a history of Lwandle and its residents as a community with a distinct heritage that affirms a past in struggles against the foundations of the apartheid system.

In 2009 two very important projects of heritage preservation were central to the work of the museum. The first involves preserving one hostel, Hostel 33, as a visual reminder of the migrant labour system that was the basis for the formation of Lwandle.

In 2009 plans to develop the Hostel 33 took a massive step forward when the museum, in an international competition, was the recipient of a funding award from the US Ambassador’s Cultural Preservation Fund. The museum is now in the process of developing plans, in consultation with community members, around how to preserve and restore the hostel so that it serves as a memorial to the migrant labour system. The National Heritage Council and the National Lotteries Board have also allocated funds for this project.

The second major project of heritage preservation has been a series of oral history projects that the museum has run over the past few years in collaboration with the District Six Museum, the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation and schools in the area. An important outcome of this project in 2009 was the publication of a book by the museum and the IJR entitled Community on the Move. It provides a resource for schools and communities around how to develop oral history projects that are linked to artistic production, photography and performance.

There are many other ways that the museum has built and developed communities in Lwandle, in the Western Cape, South Africa and internationally. It supports and contributes substantially to the Cape Town Memory Project and the Oral History Association of South Africa. It has strong working relationships with academic departments at universities such as the History Department at the University of the Western Cape, and the Center for the Study of Public Scholarship at Emory University in Atlanta, and, has begun to developing strong linkages with museums and heritage organisations with similar interests in Africa, Australia and North America.

Whilst many have theorized about the role which museums can play in creating social cohesion, at once challenging age-old racist identities and stereotypes and concentrating on the affirmation of the complexities of identity and the very notion of community, the Lwandle Museum has through its experiential approach, innovative leadership and involved governance structures created an exciting example of the potential impact of museums within local, national and international community life.

Contact Details:Lunga Smile, Museum manager and curatorThe Lwandle Migrant Labour MuseumOld Community Hall, Vulindlela Street, Lwandle, 7143Tel: 0218456119E-mail: lwandlemus@tiscali.co.za

SOURCE: www.archivalplatform.org

08 September 2010

Mines must take 'prime responsibility' for acid drainage
KARABO KEEPILE JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - Sep 07 2010 12:11
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Tainted water gushes out of the earth and a pipe, just outside Rand Uranium property on Johannesburg's West Rand. The water, stained orange, like Rooibos tea, collects in a pool before flowing into the Tweelopiespruit.


SA's mining legacyAcid mine drainage (AMD) water cannot be used for agriculture, you can't drink it and you can't bath in it. It contaminates clean underground water and will eventually escalate the cost of water. Watch our video to see AMD'S impact on the environment.
More videosThis is acid mine drainage (AMD), also termed "yellow-boy", which seeps to the surface on the West Rand.Johannesburg, the largest economy of any metropolitan region in sub-Saharan Africa, sprung up after a gold reef was accidentally discovered in 1886.According to the city of Johannesburg's website, within 10 years there was a fully fledged town on the same spot, and within 30 years it was South Africa's largest city.Mining companies have come and gone, leaving mines abandoned and disused to collect water. Underground water must be pumped out continually for mining to continue otherwise the water flows over the rocks and becomes toxic.Mariette Liefferink, an environmental activist and chief executive of the Federation for a Sustainable Environment, a non-governmental organisation, is determined to put AMD on the agenda.She offers site visits to show the damage caused by Johannesburg's AMD problem.Wearing a green kimono, beige high heels and matching jewellery, Liefferink is unafraid to get her hands and toes dirty to show the extent of the problem.Acid drainage mine water not just on surface"An unqualified volume of it [AMD] flows underground," Liefferink told a group of concerned members of the public and journalists.

"They have not reconstructed what it looks like underground, so there is insufficient information on the volume, but what we do know is that some of it ends up in our river systems."Marius Keet -- the Department of Water Affairs's deputy director of water-quality management -- told Parliament in July this year that the toxic water was rising at a rate of between 0,6m and 0,9m a day in the central basin of the Witwatersrand Goldfields.According to the Department of Water Affairs, acid mine drainage arises when sulphate-bearing minerals are exposed to oxygen. This is termed pyrite oxidation, and is enhanced when water moves through and over the surfaces of acid-bearing rock.The water has a low pH (sometimes as low as 2,2), a high number of dissolved solids, high levels of sulphates and heavy metals, particularly iron, manganese, nickel and/or cobalt.The department said the heavy metals, low pH and high salt levels pose a "risk to human health and to the integrity of the aquatic ecosystems".According to independent environmental consultant Pieter Colyn, "acid mine drainage cannot be used for agriculture, you can't drink it and you can't bath in it. It contaminates clean underground water and will eventually escalate the cost of water."Acidic damNothing stirs the surface of the Lancaster Dam on the West Rand, ringed by mine dumps. There are no insects and no bird life. The once pristine dam is now classified a "radiological hotspot" by the National Nuclear Regulator.Liefferink, now barefoot, pointed out water seeping into the soil, which would end up in the Wonderfonteinspruit. The spruit [stream] is one of the main tributaries of the Vaal River, upon which millions depend.The nearby informal settlements of Tudor Shaft and Soul City are surrounded by abandoned mine shafts and mine dumps.A Soul City resident, who gave her name as Dinah, said the informal settlement became "totally white" with dust from the dumps on windy days.According to Liefferink, dust particles from the dumps contain uranium and other toxic and radioactive heavy metals.Paul Potgieter, a former peat farmer in Carletonville, said he had to abandon his farm in 2007 after what he terms a "toxic tsunami".According to Potgieter's daughter René, the water had "a rotten egg smell" and tests showed the wetlands had high levels of sulphates."The consequence is that South Africa now imports 90% of the peat used because the wetlands are polluted with AMD water," Potgieter said.Peat is used in the mushroom industry as a casing soil, because it is very good at holding water. However, if salt levels are too high (as is the case in AMD) then the yield falls.According to Potgieter, there are now fewer than four farmers left from Randburg to Roodepoort as the mines have bought the land."There are currently offers for my neighbours' farm, once a cattle farm."Potgieter said the cattle farmer also had to terminate his operations after a National Nuclear Regulator directive stating that his cattle were "not permitted to drink water from the property".AMD a legacy issueA spokesperson from Rand Uranium, who did not want to be named, said AMD was a "legacy issue", which arises from more than 120 years of mining under the Central, East and West Rand.However, the spokesperson said "the AMD that is being referred to is unrelated to Rand Uranium's current mining operations, which are located in a different area [from where the tainted water gushes from the earth]".The spokesperson said the mine has taken "extensive short-term measures to address the issue in the West Rand, and has contributed significantly to the development of a sustainable long-term solution, in line with its commitment to responsible environmental practices, and to supporting revitalisation of mining on the near West Rand".The mine spokesperson said the scale of the problem was such that it "is economically and practically impossible for one party to solve on its own" and it was spending more than R2,5-million a month on a treatment plant on the West Rand.According to Liefferink from the Federation for a Sustainable Environment, the mine currently partially purifies about 12,5-million litres of AMD water per day, leaving between 11-million and 56-million litres per day to flow into the province's river systems untreated.Nevertheless, the mine is adamant that acid mine drainage can only be solved with significant investment and collective action by the mining industry, civil society and the government."We have been doing all we can to contain the impact on the Western basin decant, while being the lead agents in forging a long-term sustainable solution," said the spokesperson.'Environmental liability'According to Liefferink, Rand Uranium is not the only mining company that has to carry 120 years of "environmental liability".The Department of Water Affairs in 2006 ordered Australian-listed company Mintails and DRDGold to pump and treat 0,4% and 44% of their acid mine drainage respectively."But DRDGold has never pumped or treated this AMD water. The sole responsibility has fallen upon Mintails and Rand Uranium, but they cannot cope," said Liefferink.The untreated water, according to Liefferink, has now contaminated the Tweelopiespruit, the Wonderfonteinspruit catchment, Robinson Dam, Lancaster Dam, Hippo Dam, Hartbeespoort Dam and will eventually contaminate the Limpopo River catchment river systems.Liefferink, like Colyn, believes that mining companies aren't doing enough."The richest gold mines were found here in the West Rand yet they have moved off with all their money. They haven't rehabilitated and they haven't cleaned up properly," said Colyn.According to Liefferink, AMD water can be treated by reverse osmosis, but it's extremely expensive.Reverse osmosis is a process in which a solvent passes through a porous membrane in the opposite direction to that of natural osmosis when subjected to a hydrostatic pressure greater than the osmotic pressure."Anglo Coal is currently treating AMD by reverse osmosis in its Witbank plant and the treatment costs R10 per cubic metre while Rand Water currently sells its water at R3 per cubic metre.According to the Department of Water Affairs, an inter-ministerial committee (IMC) has been established and the minister of water and environmental affairs has been mandated to convene a task team to investigate and develop a clear and coordinated strategy to deal with AMD.The IMC had its first meeting on September 1. On Monday at a media briefing in Cape Town, the committee called on some of South Africa's top experts to help find a solution to the AMD problem as it won't be able to cope.The polluter paysAmong the urgent decisions that have to be taken is where the government is going to find R218-million for a new pump station and pipeline, and an upgrade to an existing waterworks -- facilities essential to treat the acid mine water.According to the department, there is only R14-million available for this in the current budget."AMD is an important issue in the bigger policy question facing government and the public on how to apply the 'polluter pays' policy, which is entrenched in our environmental legislation, to the legacy of gold and coal mining, and how to plan for these issues in future as new mines are opened," said Victor Munnik, Mvula programme manager.While, Mvula -- the largest NGO supporting water and sanitation development in South Africa -- does not purify AMD water, it supports local government in the delivery of sustainable, reliable and affordable water services."Clearly the polluter pays principle means that the polluter -- the mining companies -- should take the prime responsibility. Government's role is to apply policy, as well as to ultimately look after our water resources, which it holds in custodianship on behalf of all in South Africa," Munnik said.

SOURCE: www.mg.co.za

30 August 2010

TALKING HERITAGE: Personal Reflections on Museums and the Promise of...

TALKING HERITAGE: Personal Reflections on Museums and the Promise of...: "Bongani Mgijima, Grahamstown The promise of transformation in museums has been a recurring theme even before the advent of democracy. Cent..."

26 August 2010

Follow up on the traditional healers recognition blog

Well about the story of KZN Provincial initative in traditional healing story issued by Drum magazine & 2005-2010 intergrated traditional healing report in HIV/AIDS collaboration.It is argued that Kwazulu Natal provincial legislature has given a it's Health department a go ahead to incoporate traditional healing in their main stream health services by allowing these healers to use their normal doctors consulting rooms formally.Some of them are placed within local clinics and hospitals which allows them to make referals to state hospitals.Then again their consulting rooms get equiped by their traditional healing kit starting from drums down to traditional insence(impempo) they use when consulting permissible to be used within the premises.This is a step forward towards recognition of Indigenous knowledge systems in our health care.

These traditional healers are well known around KZN in their practice and after several training sessions & workshops they are issued with practice numbers so as to allow them to open surgeries and be able to sell their medicines officially.They also are permissible to issue out sick note and referal letters when in need as per the Drum article.

Such initiative has been in existence since 2003 co-funded by US Presidential emergency affairs and the state.There are some other stake holders such as CDC(centre for disease control& prevention),Ethekwini municipality & University of Kwazulu-Natal.The project leader is Professor Nceba Ggaleni of KZN.It is also argued that regular workshops are held to facilitate better working relations between Health workers and traditional healers thus creating guidelines on where to start and end between the affected healers and doctors.Also a matter of what to be prescribed and how by these traditional healers is dealt with by UKZN school of medicine through various laboratory tests.Diseases such as TB,Diabetes,HIV & AIDS Diagnosis are sometimes dealt with in traditional manner in the said province.KZN Provincial health care has pioneered the recognition of traditional healing,a step forward towards a better acknowledgement of our Indigineous knowledge systems.Something that most of us has been longing to let it happen in our new inclusive democratic society.

Due to success of this collaboration,University of Witswatersrand is now planning to launch a Bachelors degree up to Masters level in indigenous knowledge systems for Sangomas(Amagqirha)and traditional healers.It has not been explained up to now how will the selection criteria be followed on how to register,since most of them have no matric level so far.






Information researched & analysed by: Phumeza N.Mntonintshi
Anthropology Curator-Albany Museum
August 2010

Traditional healing & Govt collaboration in some parts of South Africa





EXTRACT FROM INTERGRATED REPORT ON HIV/AIDS COLLABORATION OF 2005-2010,KZN PROVINCIAL INITIATIVE & OTHER STAKE HOLDERS.
Grahamstown water passes test

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2010/08/26
GRAHAMSTOWN’S toxic tap water has finally been given a clean bill of health by independent testers – six months after a Dispatch investigation exposed dangerously high levels of toxic heavy metals in the precious resource.


Although the latest test results by Amatola Water show efforts by Makana municipal officials to sort out the problem have resulted in the water meeting strict Department of Water Affairs standards, local experts yesterday called for regular tests every week – instead of once a month.

After seven frustrating years of trying to get feedback on water test results from municipal officials, Kowie Catchment Campaign’s Dr Jim Cambray is happy that since the Dispatch published the report, efforts had been made to release the test results on the local authority’s website. However, the KCC – a group of “concerned” residents and experts “interested in water quality – questioned why no testing had been done in the industrial area – a hotspot for heavy metal contamination six months ago.

With recorded arsenic levels “seven times higher” than allowed by law, Dr Cambray said it was vital to check water quality there.



According to the latest municipal report on water quality testing, the results met the strict Department of Water Affairs South African National Drinking Standard requirements.

Spokesperson Thandy Matebese yesterday said while the quality of water at times “was not the best – it was still within the required government guidelines”.

“Although I have always maintained our water is safe to drink, it is good to know things are improving.”



Matebese said although Amatola only tested the water once a month, ongoing checks were done every week by municipal staff – “as required by law”. - By DAVID MACGREGOR
Port Alfred Bureau
davidm@dispatch.co.za

SOURCE: DAILY DISPATCH, 26 AUGUST 2010

20 August 2010

ISIVIVANE SOLWAZI - Monument to Knowledge

Albany Museum and Robben Island Museum

Robben Island Museum has partnered with the Albany Museum in hosting learners for this year's Spring School Nation Building Camp which will take place on Robben Island from 24 September until 03 October 2010.

The theme for this year is Resistance and Resilience of the Human Spirit Against the Forces of Evil”: Africa Unite & Fight Xenophobia”.

An unforgettable Learning Experience

The Robben Island Spring School aims to create an unforgettable learning experience that the participants will treasure for life. Each year, a new theme, is tailored to focus on the interpretation theme as found in the Robben Island Museum Integrated Conservation Management Plan. This theme is then linked to topical, burning and relevant issues that affect our country.

Lessons to be Learnt

In 2010 the Spring School will be looking into the definition and the causes of Xenophobia. What lessons can be learnt from the notorious history of South Africa, where people were treated different because of the color of their skin, where the so-called undesirable members of society were banished or imprisoned? The treatment political prisoners received differed because of race, how they managed to overcome the divisive measures of Apartheid.?

Journey Through a Layered History

During their time on the island the journey will take the participants through the layered history of Robben Island, which consist of: banishment, hardship, isolation and imprisonment interwoven with resistance, resilience, tolerance and the triumph of the human spirit over hardship.

Learners will also get an opportunity to explore the island, interact with Living Heritage Resources (ex political prisoners), discover the history of the island and engage with their peers around the theme of Spring School 2010.

Xenophobia and Costumes

In order for learners to deal with the theme effectively they have been given pre-tasks before their journey to Robben Island.

Xenophobia Research - Learners asked to conduct research in their community on Xenophobia and to Write a mini research essay dealing with Xenophobia

The second task is for learners to bring along a cultural/traditional/customary attire/costume or dress and must conduct research on what this special costume/attire says about the learner and his / her community .When is it worn and by whom? Why is it important to the learners or his /her community?

Showcase

Learners will showcase and share this information with other participants. This is an opportunity for learners to celebrate and introduce their culture to their peers from South Africa and Namibia

On Robben Island the learners will be hosted by Ms Sandra Daniels and Ms Vuvu Mayongo of the Robben Island Museum Education Department. Ms N Madinda of the Albany Mobile Museum Service is responsible for coordinating learners from the Eastern Cape.

19 August 2010

African story telling context-a living heritage

Preamble

This is a personal view on the African story telling context, no formal research conducted as such but reference is made through the experiences as a member of the so-called Indigenous Nguni Ethnic group. In this case Xhosa speaking which story telling forms part of the treasured living cultural heritage. The focus would positively look at influences of storytelling and a gender role involved. The environment that is basically used to educate and to alert listeners will also be discussed.

Content

Story telling in African tradition context can be regarded as a living heritage. It has been happening for centuries dating back even during the time of our forefathers. Again story telling in the traditional societies was done orally. There are various effects contributing to that. To mention but just one as an example is the fact that story tellers themselves are not learned people. They use their treasured memories to keep and then transfer their knowledge from generation to another. The grannies who usually becomes centre of attraction were good memorizers and unfortunately could n’t read and write but of cause would remember a lot for generations to come.

When arguing that kind of a skill transference again one can somewhat regard story tellers as treasured Cultural living heritage of our times. Then again story telling becomes a gender role non contested in Traditional African societies. It became a popular female role more especially the aged or grandmoms.There are various effects on that as well since they are always available at home having less to do compared to young females who have to do various household chores such drawing water from nearby rivers,cooking,cleaning ,etc.In the case of man ,they are always out on the fields ,veld,at work or at times involved in the battles which occurs to protect women and children.

In most cases a man as the head of the family is always expected to provide food for his household. And when danger approaches we look ahead for his power to control the situation. Then story telling would be a least of his priorities.Infact it is not that they undermine that role but they were always not available at home most of the times in search of work or in battles.

We have to look at where most of the story telling happens, my argument would say it always becomes a rural area or a village in rondavels besides fire places at night. Someone else can ask why a specific time. It’s when everybody is around; this is also a unifying tool for the family since it creates a warm situation and understanding of one another. Then again story telling was not just for tales but learning and training tool for kids to be educated on life skills and awareness. Life experiences are transferred without the form of a formal learning environment but by word of mouth.

This is regarded as a natural gift bestowed on adults to be transferred to future generations for keeps. No records were kept during the process but a system was followed genuinely and respectably. Noise level becomes less since everyone listens’ attentively and with curiosity to find out the result and also as a sign of respect to the story teller because of her age. Story telling was a tool used to test a child’s brain and memory status. Remember story telling is not only for Africans but a universal language amongst all ethnic groups i.e. in Africa and abroad. In our case we have transferred and kept that treasured knowledge orally not in written form. There is no such formula that blocks one on how to tell stories as such. In many learned environment story telling would be done by a mother or a father at bedtime in the form of singing and reading to make a child sleep. When it comes to traditional storytelling, beds were not known or famous then when everybody is gathered by the fire place the granny would start the session and so forth.

Traditional reed mats were used to sit and sleep in those huts. When it comes what the stories were about, you would notice that commonly the environment, animals; plants were used since they are known to the teller and listeners. Story telling was regarded more like a norm or tradition.

Here are the tools used during oral tradition/story telling:



Model of a Xhosa dressed traditional doll
This resembles the aged story teller.





Model of traditional reed mat which is usually used to sit the audience as well as for sleeping purposes since there were no chairs available at that time.





Rondavels/huts used during story telling sessions-inside there will be fireplace




Target audience for story telling usually mixed with boys of the same age.




Environment used as reference material of storytelling, it varies as per the narrator what she would like to talk about no boundaries outlined as such.


Information written and compiled by: Phumeza N.Mntonintshi & Nomthunzi Api
Albany Museum, Grahamstown-Anthropology dept.

17 August 2010

OBITUARY: Mark Hipper (November 6, 1960 – August 11, 2010)

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2010/08/17
INTERNATIONALLY acclaimed Grahamstown artist Mark Hipper, whose risqué art exhibitions have at times caused public outrage, has died. Hipper, aged 49, died unexpectedly of natural causes, apparently from diabetes-related complications, at his Grahamstown home last week.


In 1998 Child Welfare and some other organisations slated Hipper’s National Arts Festival exhibition, Viscera, billed as an exploration of child sexuality and featuring line studies of nude children. It sparked a national debate about artistic freedom and pornography.
Cabinet minister Lindiwe Sisulu called it child pornography and, controversially, threatened to ban the exhibit. However, her Film and Publication Board dubbed the exhibit “bona fide artwork” and gave it the thumbs up. The Director of Public Prosecutions took its cue from the board and refused to prosecute the artist.
At the time of his death, the Rhodes University’s Fine Art Department lecturer was on sabbatical and preparing for a new exhibition entitled Doppelgänger/Double, to be held at the Erdmann Contemporary in Cape Town next month.
Rhodes University said in a statement yesterday that Hipper’s new body of work comprises three large canvas paintings and several smaller canvases for Doppelgänger/Double.
“In eschewing representational art, and yet embracing the figure as the truth of art, Hipper was often misconstrued as courting controversy for controversy’s sake,” said the statement.
Hipper exhibited extensively both internationally and in South Africa and his work is represented in numerous important collections both locally and abroad. He has received numerous art awards.
The statement said his “fidelity to great art forced him to confront the tired, hackneyed ruses of representation by investigating ways of luring the viewer into confronting the ambiguity of images in contemporary society”.
Rhodes said that Hipper was much loved as a kind, thoughtful, generous teacher and friend.
He is survived by his mother Nena, sister Marie-Louise, brother Gerd, nieces Thandiwe and Caitlin, and nephew Matthias.
A memorial service will be held in Grahamstown, tomorrow at 3pm at the Rhodes University Chapel. It is understood the Doppelgänger/Double exhibition will go ahead in Cape Town on September 29. — DDR

SOURCE: DAILY DISPATCH, 17 AUGUST 2010

16 August 2010

Museums strives for accessibility

By: Zongezile Matshoba

A temporary touch display with labels in Braille, a recipe book on wild vegetable also in Braille, and Kuyasa art works that were prepared amazed every participant, thanks to Zach Taljaard, the Albany Museum Exhibition Officer.

Accessibility, other than employment, is the thorniest issue out of all things that still face people with physical challenges. This was made clear in a workshop organised by the Accessibility Advisory Committee, Focus on the Person, held at Albany Museum on Thursday, 12 August 2010.

Toyoyo Koliti, standing on his crutches, was emphatic on his challenge to all.

“Do not lose focus, or you will end up being a beggar. Fight for accessibility, employment and equality.”

He ascertained that there is a great need for research to be conducted and data collected about disabled people to convince employers of their skills and capabilities.

“Be a specialist in your disability. Get skills. Be independent. Convince other people to give help only when it is needed.”

Koliti is totally opposed to disabled people being part of a quota system to employment equity. He added that they are always at work, doing the job as required, and will be on leave only for valid reasons.

Slovo Dyira, 16, a grade 9 learner at Mary Waters High School reflected on the challenges facing school going learners.

“Our parents have to go and beg principals to accept us. We are constantly teased by other learners.” Two representatives from Settlers Hospital, Vera Fainstone, the audiologist and Robyn Ashbolt, the occupational therapist took everyone through sign language and wheelchair usage. People were taught that there are many wheelchairs which are made according to each individual’s specific needs. With the sign language, although alphabets are international, every region has its own sign. People were taught how to say “how are you” and “thank you”. Bongani Nangu shared how blind people negotiate their way at home and in town.

Three short films, two about people on wheel chairs, and the third one about a blind person were also shown. Francine Mukendi also talked about the inaccessibility of the Rhodes University's Steve Biko Student Centre. This building also has Rhodes Music Radio, the Student Resource Centre and the Career Centre.

Tony Dold from the Selmar Schonland Herbarium entertained the audience with lovely jembe drum beats that left everyone enjoying the feeling of the sounds.

Some of the original committee have left but Taljaard, Agata Runowicz-Forsdyke, Luc and Karen Marechal, Phumlani Cimi have been with committee all the way. This year they were joined by Heine Kohl, HOD Maintenance and Amy van Wezel, the History intern.

The committee warmly thanked Fruit and Veg City for the fruit that kept everyone healthy, and Pick n Pay for the committee's birthday cake and biscuits.

12 August 2010

National Science Week launched

On the 29 July and 1 August 2010 three staff members of Albany Museum, Nozipho Madinda, Ntombekhaya Mtyobo and Luvuyo Mayi attended two separate launch events of the National Science Week held at Fort Hare University (Alice) and at The Great Place at Cofimvaba (Transkei) respectively. At Fort Hare, the exhibitions were represented Albany Museum, Bayworld, Saiab, Rhodes University, 1820 Settlers Monument, Grocott’s Mail (Upstart), National Zoolology, Pest Industrial, Oxford Publishers, and FOSST.

Madinda, head of Mobile Museum had a talk with the students and educators about the history of the Albany Museum and its departments. She mentioned the science research departments and the museum collections that are created by specialists in the fields. She also mentioned the role of the education department that provides education programmes and offer lessons to schools.
Mobile Museum is an educational project designed to take educational museum resources to farm, rural and urban communities that are unable to visit the museum.
Madinda told the learners of Alice and Cofimvaba about the museum science careers such as palaeontologist, entomologist, anthropologist, ichthyologist, archaeologist, and botanist. They were so impressed and the group of boys said that it is for the first time they heard about the museum careers, and asked which learning areas they can take. She was also interviewed by the national Department of Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pando about the museum stall. Albany Museum stall was of a high standard resulting in the national broadcaster, SABC’s Morning Live taking live pictures, using the stall as a backdrop.
Mtyobo presented the Herbarium artefacts called IMPEPHO (everlasting) (scientific name Helichrysum odoratissimum) and UMTHONZIMA (Sea Bean) (scientific name Entanda rheedii). She said impepho protect people in evil spirit and umthonzima gives people lucky.
Mayi presented a dinosaur and fossils lesson, and it was a great. It was stimulating, and learners asked many questions. Mayi answered them with full confidence.
At Fort Hare University, Derek Hanekom Deputy Minister of the Department of Science and Technology explained clearly that the students can make research about others careers which they can follow. He further said that the Museum can assist the students to choose other careers except teaching and nursing.
Naledi Pando the Minister of science and technology emphasized that there are better ways of living these days as there are bursaries and scholarships so that they can have better education. She encouraged learners to do maths and science.