An initiative of the Institut français d’Afrique du Sud (IFAS) / French Institute of South Africa and Embassy of France

Reimagining Heritage, Archives and Museums: Today/Tomorrow Convening Cape Town February 2024

Six young heritage and cultural practitioners from across southern Africa have been appointed as mentees in the Reimagining Heritage, Archives and Museums: Today/Tomorrow mentorship programme.

In addition to attending the convening and the professional meetings thereafter, the mentees will participate in a tailor-made skills development programme. This will include a workshop by leading conference organisers and arts communication practitioners from Communicating the Arts, a partner to the Reimagining Heritage, Archives and Museums; a session on best practices for conference and event management led by Professional Conference Organiser Zelda Coetzee; and a workshop on curatorial approaches to conferences, guided by the convening’s curatorial committee.

Applications are closed

Reimagining Heritage, Archives and Museums: Today/Tomorrow is a new project that consists of three components, namely an international convening being held in Cape Town from 13 – 15 February 2024, a series of professional meetings in Johannesburg following the convening, and a parallel paid mentorship programme.

The mentorship programme is a tailor-made skills-sharing and development programme that will include virtual learning and in-person sessions to provide a platform for new voices to expand their knowledge and build networks. These sessions will be shaped around the convening themes and will aim to provide on-the-ground experience in curating and coordinating a convening. Mentees will have the opportunity to attend the convening and participate in the professional meetings.

Individuals from South Africa, Lesotho, or Malawi are encouraged to submit their application now to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from the world’s best and gain invaluable experience in the heritage, archives and museum sectors.

All travel and accommodation costs will be covered by the convening, and participants will receive a stipend.

This project is an initiative of the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) and the Embassy of France.

Meet the mentees

Curtis Jeaven

Kimberley, South Africa

Curtis Jeaven has a background in Heritage, Archaeology and History. He holds a Higher Certificate in Heritage Studies and a Bachelor of Arts degree obtained from Sol Plaatje University. Jeaven recently completed a Bachelor of Social Science Honours specialisation in Heritage Studies at Sol Plaatje University, Northern Cape, South Africa, with his research entitled ‘An explorative study of participants’ perceptions in the Places in Me photovoice exhibition, in Platfontein, Northern Cape’. He envisions completing his master’s dissertation focusing on rock art sites in South Africa and France in 2024/25. Jeaven is a member of the South African Archaeological Student Council and an associate researcher of Cosmo-Art.

Scout Fynn

Durban, South Africa

Scout Fynn is a writer, curator and theatre maker based in Durban, South Africa. She is passionate about creating cultural experiences that continue to showcase the significance of the arts within the landscape of social change and women’s stories. Fynn is a graduate of The Market Theatre Laboratory and has already positioned herself as a notable young actor and theatre maker. She has performed in two Naledi Award-winning productions, No Easter Sunday For Queers (2019) and Eclipsed (2019).

Fynn’s writing credits include The Art Caves virtual monologue festival, Dikakanyo at the National Arts Festival (2021), a finalist for the Distell National Playwright Competition (2022) and in 2023 participating as a playwright for POPART Johannesburg’s 24 Hours In The City theatre festival. Fynn’s curatorial impact extends to the Centre for Creative Arts, where she curated for the 26th edition of Time of the Writer and the 3rd Artfluence Human Rights festival. Her significant work with The Voices Of Women’s Museum includes co-curating the virtual exhibition Listen Again, and she is currently curating the museum’s third annual exhibition, which explores the use of memory in shaping archival practices.

Phomolo Makoele

Maseru, Lesotho

Phomolo Makoele is a recent graduate from the National University of Lesotho and holds a degree in Library and Information Science (2023). Born in Maseru, Lesotho, her experiences growing up have instilled a deep appreciation for the importance of information and its subsequent impact on our lives. Makoele’s interests are focused on the evolution of information technology and its contribution to archival management, resource development and web design.

Nothando Shabalala

Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

Nothando Shabalala is an adventurer with a passion for nature and hiking. She has an academic background in anthropology and has explored the world both in the great outdoors and within museum walls. As a former research intern, she delved into the intricacies of museum collections, blending her love for history with an eye for digital photography and online curation. Passionate about preserving indigenous knowledge systems which create a narrative that resonates with the soul of diverse societies, Shabalala is also dedicated to safeguarding the rich cultural heritage that often lies at the heart of communities.

Chisomo Chakuda

Zomba, Malawi

Born in 1998, Chisomo Chakuda is a Malawian archaeological enthusiast and a current participant in the Malawi Ancient Lifeways and Peoples Project (MALAPP). He enrolled at the University of Malawi in 2018 to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in social and economic history, from which had to withdraw in his first year due to financial reasons. He was then selected for the Malawi  National Housing and Population Censors, which afforded him the opportunity to study archaeology. Through the MALAPP programme, Chakuda has conducted two years of fieldwork directed by Jessica Thompson from Yale University. Chakuda has also interned at the Department of Museums and Monuments where he is expected to resume work after completing his studies.

Lethabolaka Gumede

Johannesburg, South Africa

Lethabolaka Gumede is a cultural worker, scholar and the founder of an art educational initiative called Empowering the Art, which functions as a digital art archive that also produces cultural programmes. After 15 years in the studio as a professional ballet and contemporary dancer, curatorship became the discipline that merged her anthropology and gender studies academic background with her performing arts career. 

Her current interests are around how African indigenous artists and cultural institutions negotiate the representation and commodification of African indigenous artworks in the art market and cultural landscape. At the heart of her practice, she believes in educating through play as a way to increase access to art education.

Curtis, Scout, Phomolo, Nothando, Chisomo and Lethabolaka will be writing about their experiences for IQOQO

Programme highlights include:

Reimagining Heritage, Archives and Museums: Today/Tomorrow Convening Cape Town February 2024
  • January virtual learning: A series of virtual knowledge-sharing sessions featuring a combination of live and recorded content and reading material will serve as the first learning opportunity.

  • 13 – 15 February in-person learning intensive: During these three days in Cape Town, mentees will engage with the convening programmes, delegates, key tours and activities and participate in workshops with the mentors and invited participants.

  • 19 -21 February professional meetings: Mentees will reconvene in person a week after the conference for three days of professional meetings in Johannesburg and Pretoria. They will engage in a programme of visits to cultural institutions and heritage sites and social gatherings with selected professionals.

  • March virtual debrief and review sessions.

You will be a suitable candidate if:

  • You are a citizen of South Africa, Lesotho or Malawi

  • You have recently graduated/are at the start of your career in the heritage, archive, museum or cultural sector

  • You are between the ages of 20 – 29

  • You will be available to travel and attend the international convening in Cape Town taking place from 13 – 15 February 2024, and attend the professional meetings in Johannesburg from 19 – 21 February 2024

  • You will be available to attend virtual information, training and workshop sessions in January and March

  • You have some experience in, or are interested in, writing. You will be asked to write content about the convening (e.g. reporting on specific panel discussions, or summarising the outcomes of a workshop) for publications like IQOQO, as well as for reports to partners and funders.

Reimagining Heritage, Archives and Museums: Today/Tomorrow Convening Cape Town February 2024

Reimagining Heritage, Archives and Museums: Today/Tomorrow Convening Cape Town February 2024

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