Tuesday 5 May 2015

Art, Culture & Heritage for Peace
    ARROWSA  (Reg 088-058 NPO)  is one of the partners in the eThekwini Local History Museums' Passbook Competition and facilitates educational programmes at two of the participating sites:  The Bergtheil Museum and The Palmiet Nature Reserve.   There is funding available for some schools otherwise the cost is R30 per child (or as agreed upon) for the programme below. (Participation can also be directly with the museums at no cost).

ARROWSA interactive storytelling Bergtheil Museum Westville
Maximum no of learners per morning: approx. 90
Visit other Passbook Competition sites before the Palmiet Nature Reserve e.g. Pinetown Museum or Mariannhill Monastery or after e.g. Cato Manor Museum or Old House Museum

“Who left this behind?” AN INTERACTIVE PROGRAM:
(3.5 hrs. from 9h00 to 12h30 on Mon or Wed or Fri):
9h00   Meet at Palmiet Nature Reserve, New Germany   Road,
9h15   General introduction
9h30   Break into 3x groups that rotate:
  1. Archaeological evidence found of early inhabitants of the         
  2. Palmiet and surrounding areas
  3. Nature walk re the diversity of Fauna & Flora of the Palmiet
  4. The Geology of the Palmiet River and surrounds
11h00  Leave for Bergtheil Museum, Queens Ave, Westville
11h15  Bergtheil Museum
            3x groups rotate re the following:
  1. View archaeological display and general exhibits
  2. Interaction with mock archaeological dig
  3. Picnic on the Bergtheil lawns

Background information on the Passbook Competition by Local History Museum 
Mohau Qalaza

1.    What is the aim and what are you hoping to achieve with the competition?
A: Background
eThekwini Municipality currently has seven Local History Museums (LHM) under its stewardship. These museums fall under the Libraries and Heritage Department of the Parks, Recreation and Culture Service Unit (PRC). Despite outstanding collections in museums that lie beyond established tourist routes of the inner city, sites such as Old House Museum, Cato Manor Heritage Centre, Bergtheil Museum and Pinetown Museum (Area 2 Museums) face challenges such as competition with more established museums, limited funding and resources, and the difficulty of building a wider audience. In response to these issues, a Passbook Competition was launched in 2013 to increase recognition of such sites.

History of the Passbook (dompass) and the Local History Museums Passbook Competition
The passbook, once a hated symbol of apartheid oppression, has been creatively adapted by LHM to:
·        Promote Social Cohesion
·        Develop empathy through experiential learning
·        Capture enthusiasm of young people
·        Market the Area 2 Museums and participating Heritage Sites
·        Increase visitor numbers and exposure of people to these spaces
·        Make museums viably functional and encourage schools to use them as tools in their curriculum
Social Cohesion
The call for social cohesion especially within the eThekwini Municipality has become a major theme for Parks, Recreation and Culture (PRC) unit. This project further supports that ideal. The competition serves to promote values of tolerance, empathy and respect, as well as achieving social cohesion and nation building through public institutions. According to statistics the demographics with regards to LHM vary immensely, this includes aspects such as content, location, reputation, accessibility. Our aim is to bridge these gaps and make each museum relevant in its own right.  As such we aim to partner with other heritage practitioners, in and around the Area 2 museums such as Marian Hill Monastery and Palmiet Nature Reserve including a partnership with IGR, the Durban West Community Tourism Organisation (DWCTO), The Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany (Durban), The Local History Museums Trust, ARROW-SA, Cato manor and INK ABMs so as to bring social cohesion to the forefront.                                    

2.    Briefly tell me about the participating sites and prices.

A: Selected Sites

         Bergtheil Museum
         Cato Manor Cultural Centre
         Old House Museum
         Pinetown Museum
         Mariannhill Monastery
         Palmiet Nature Reserve

3.   Please take me through the entry process an requirements. 
a.         Entry into the Local History Museums Passbook Competition is deemed acceptance of the competitions Terms and Conditions.
b.         eThekwini Municipality is the Promoter of this competition.
c.         The Passbook Competition is open to Schools and Learners from Grades 4-11.
d.         The Passbook competition is open to Learners with Special Educational Needs (LSEN) Schools with Intermediate and Senior Phase LSEN Learners.
e.         Mainstream grades within LSEN Schools may enter and will be judged under the mainstream school categories [see e, f and g(i) below].
f.          The Passbook Competition comprises of 2 parts: Compulsory Visitation to Sites, and a Completion of a Worksheet Component. 
g.         Worksheets fully explain the Written and Visual Art Component of the competition. The onus is upon individuals and Educators to fully utilise Worksheet Questions and directives for school, assessment and competition purposes. 
h.         The competition concludes at the end of August each year.
j.          All entries must be submitted in person at any of the participating sites no later than 15h30 on the last working day in August. No late entries will be accepted. eThekwini Municipality accepts no responsibility for any lost, late or misdirected entries.
k.         eThekwini Municipality reserves the right to verify the validity of entries and to disqualify any entry, which are not in accordance with these Terms and Conditions.
l.          The judge’s decision is final.
a.         Individual Learners and School Groups are required to visit at least three of the six sites depicted in this Passbook. It is compulsory to include two of  the Local History Museums sites, namely Bergtheil Museum (Westville), Cato Manor Heritage Site (Cato Manor), Old House Museum (Durban CBD) and Pinetown Museum (Pinetown) to qualify for the prizes.
b.         Learners and Educators can collect the ‘Passbooks’ from a LHM site. The ‘Passbook’ has an entry form attached to it as well as spaces for stamps. This ‘Passbook’ needs to be produced and stamped twice at every participating site- once on the Museum Site page and once on the “Lucky Draw Entry Form” page.
c.         WORKSHEETS: Learners/Educators will receive worksheets on site, outlining in greater detail themes related to each Museum and the Competition topics. Educators may use this in class assessments
d.         ADJUDICATION: Educators who have learners that have participated in the competition are requested to mark and hand in only five top entries per grade for final adjudication to LHM. Final winners rests solely at the discretion of designated external Adjudicators and may differ from school assessments as per LHM judging criteria.

Passbook Competition winners 2014

a.         LUCKY DRAW FOR LEARNERS: To qualify learners must tear out from their Passbook, the “Lucky Draw Entry Form” page with at least 3 compulsory Site Stamps on it and return it to a LHM Site with full contact particulars filled in. There will be a lucky draw for one learner in each grade.
            (i) Each school and institution that signs up and actively participates as per the Terms and Conditions for the LHM Passbook Competition is automatically entered into the draw.
            (ii)  At least one representative from the school or institution needs to be present at Prize Giving Day in order to receive the Grand Prize.
c.         WRITING COMPETITION: Open to learners in Grade 8, 9, 10 and 11 only. Two learners from each grade who have written the best Essay or Poem, relevant to the theme as explained in the worksheet, will each win a prize.
            (i) Open to learners in Grades 4, 5, 6 and 7 only. Two learners from each grade who create an artwork relevant to the theme as explained in the worksheet will each win a prize.
            (ii) Open to Learners with Special Educational Needs (LSEN). Two Prizes will be awarded for LSEN schools for group work done within the intermediate phase and group work done within the senior phase.
e.         All top entries in both Writing and Visual Art will each receive a Certificate of Participation.
f.          OUTSTANDING EDUCATORS: Gifts and a Certificate of appreciation will be awarded to Educators whose assistance in the progress of this competition is deemed outstanding.

5.     Briefly explain about different categories.
A: The competition is divided into the following four categories:
Category 1 (Grades 4 and 5)
Category 2 (Grades 6 and 7)
Category 3 (Grades 8 and 9)
Category 4 (Grades 10 and 11) 

6.   For this year's competition what are you expectations regarding participants?

A: Our aim is to recreate the experience and give the learners a brief idea of how carrying a “Passbook” would have felt like five decades ago. This concept is significant, symbolic and a throwback to racial South Africa in an educational and strategic way. We want to highlight our history through the retelling of the “Passbook” / Durban System story while enticing learners to visit our sites for a chance to learn as well as possibly win a prize for themselves and / or their school

7.     Additional information
 We have already hosted a Teachers’ Workshop where we sold the idea to the teachers and explained the terms and conditions of the competition. We also involved the teachers in decision making regarding the running of the competition and we are hoping that they will bring the students in numbers and make this year’s instalment a huge success. The teachers who were not able to make it to the workshop are welcome to enter the competition and they can obtain the relevant information from the LHM.

Palmiet Nature Reserve Westville

Monday 4 May 2015

ARROWSA 1st quarterly meeting
10 April
Bergtheil Museum

Research report by Dr Lauren Dyll-Myklebust

Journal publications

1)      Mary Lange and Dr Lauren Dyll-Myklebust have submitted a paper that draws on the Biesje Poort rock engraving project:

“Spirituality, shifting identities and social change: cases from the Kalahari landscape” to the journal HTS Theological Studies 71(1).

Photo by Mary E Lange

Storytelling, art and craft can be considered aesthetic expressions of identities. Kalahari identities are not fixed, but fluid. Research with present day Kalahari peoples regarding their artistic expression and places where it has been and is still practised highlights that these expressions are informed by spirituality. This paper explores this idea via two Kalahari case studies; Water Stories recorded in the Upington, Kakamas area as well as research on a specific rock engraving site at Biesje Poort near Kakamas. The importance of the Kalahari people’s spiritual beliefs as reflected in these case studies, and its significance regarding their identities and influence on social change projects is discussed. The paper thus highlights ways in which spirituality can be considered in relation to social change projects that are characterised by partnerships between different groups of people and that highlight art and/or storytelling as keys to the people’s spirituality.

2)      Lauren and Prof Keyan Tomaselli have submitted a paper that draws on the Biesje Poort rock engraving project and Engraved Landscape (Lange et al, 2013)

“Public self-expression: Decolonising the Researcher-Researched Relationship” to Communicatio (ed. Mariekie Burger).

 Photo by Roger C Fisher

Our objective is to make a case for research participants (normally known as ‘informants’, ‘subjects’, ‘objects’, ‘sources’ etc.) to be included in certain kinds of studies as co-authors and co-researchers in  a new, much less regulated methodological environment. In this sense they act like prodsumers as they are both significantly contributing to, and are users (consumers) of, the research done. Self-narrative is examined from the perspectives of both the researchers and the researched. Our case study is an illustrated book, Engraved Landscape: Biesje Poort Many Voices (Lange et al., 2013), a postmodern, indigene-led, visual archaeology published in three languages, and the methodology used in its creation. Just as governments sought to control who could broadcast under what conditions in the unregulated early 20th Century radio environment, so have academic auditors similarly responded to regulate the cacophony that threatens when research is decolonised as is done in Engraved Landscape. This paper draws on long-term lived field research amongst San Bushman communities in southern Africa. Both crystal radio and talk by Bushmen have been subjected to regulation, thus offering the basis of the analytical comparison. Where the Bushmen, without access to social media, rigorously manage their media exposure and have high social expectation of research done on, with or for them, ordinary hyper-individuated individuals are argued to have much lower expectations.

Conference Presentations
Two papers related to ARROWSA activities will be presented at the:

International Conference on Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Environmental Ethics: Implications for Peace-building and Sustainable Development, 28-30 April 2015, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.

By Mary and Luthando Ngema

Photo by Mary E Lange

The challenges of a participatory communication approach in marketing natural and cultural heritage educational programmes to schools by a non-profit organisation, ARROWSA, from 2006 to 2015 are investigated in this paper. These challenges are particularly due to integrating a participatory communication approach with government and other non-profit organisation stakeholders.  Educational programmes linked to the Palmiet Nature Reserve and Bergtheil Museum, Westville, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, serve as a case study. ARROWSA promotes arts, culture and heritage peace projects as educational programmes that are set within the organisation’s objectives; which are to promote reconciliation between different races, cultures and religions as well as with the environment. The programmes, through inclusive marketing, seek to readdress the exclusion of Durban city’s natural and cultural heritage sites from access to the majority of Durban learners in Apartheid times specifically those living in townships and residue related challenges. ARROWSA, in working at the Palmiet Nature Reserve and the Bergtheil Museum further aims to impact the future positively through the education of children and youth on natural and cultural heritage. The educational programmes thus highlight the need for fauna and flora diversity, the common needs for survival of all people and the contrast between archaeological and environmental evidence of sustainable living in the past compared to present day practises. This research highlights challenges that occur for interpretation and marketing of the educational programmes to the diverse schools in and around Durban. These challenges include factors such as socio-economic inequity, power relations, travel logistics, attention to spirituality and the inclusion of indigenous languages. Results that are critiqued in the paper are based on qualitative action research approach that includes face-to-face interviews supported by general survey questionnaires. The research is conducted by the authors as ARROWSA in affiliation with the Centre for Communication, Media and Society (CCMS), University of KwaZulu-Natal. The paper further includes recommendations that can be implemented within an action research approach with a view to continuous reassessment.

2)      Trusting the Indigenous:  Critical Indigenous Qualitative Methodologies
By Lauren and Keyan Tomaselli

Photo by Mary E Lange

Research is often conducted within an othering relationship that locates the researcher as all-knowing and the (indigenous) researched as not-knowing. This approach seemingly disregards that fact that it is the indigenous people’s opinions that are captured in data collection. The indigenous know detail - if not theory or method.

Our work amongst the indigenous of the Kalahari, whom we have recognised are our research participants, and at times co-researchers, reveals that they  have agency, teaching often clueless academics about themselves and their situations. It is during such encounters that the indigenous establish the parameters of the interaction.  The researchers start to get the uncomfortable impression that their textbooks are actually a hindrance.

This paper uses the above as a starting point to critically examine:

  • The nature of the encounter in research and Self/Other ethics and method

  • The value of narrative in research approaches that challenge  the neoliberal logic of safe ivory towers; and introduces the idea of

  • Critical Indigenous Qualitative Research along with interpretive research practices that aim to be ethical, transformative, participatory, and committed to dialogue; and of

  • Decolonising research practices thus popularising accessible writing styles.