12 April 2005

Heritage transformation

Speaking at the recent opening of the Heritage Transformation Indaba in Kempton Park, Arts and Culture Minister Pallo Jordan promised that the transformation of the heritage sector will not seek to "negate or obliterate the experience of any of our communities". He said the transformation process aimed to correct historical distortions of the past and that his department intended to liberate, depict and give equal prominence to the cultures, experiences and stories of indigenous peoples. Legislation such as the SA Geographical Names Council Act and the National Heritage Resources Act were proof of the government's vision to "emancipate our heritage terrain from colonial bondage". Jordan also announced he would be establishing a panel to help in the development of a national strategy that would focus on the collection, preservation and promotion of living heritage. The panel would consist of practitioners and other experts who dealt with the various forms of living heritage. Experts in various aspects of living heritage, defined as intangible cultural heritage such as oral history, rituals, skills and technique, were set to meet in September at a national consultative forum.