Programme announced for Reimagining Heritage, Archives and Museums: Today/Tomorrow convening


The Institut Français d’Afrique du Sud/French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) and the Embassy of France, with local partners, are hosting the convening Reimagining Heritage, Archives and Museums: Today/Tomorrow at the Homecoming Centre in Cape Town, February 13-15 2024.

Themes range from more challenging issues such as funding, restitution, ‘Indigenization’ and collections care and management in an African context to community engagement; contemporary design as heritage preservation; the role of private collectors in heritage, and digital futures.

The conference aims to develop a framework for future co-operation projects between France and southern Africa.

Ambassador David Martinon, France’s Ambassador to South Africa, Lesotho and Malawi, says: “This dynamic programme was developed through an extensive multi-stakeholder consultation, resulting in a convening that we hope will be a platform for generative conversation, and facilitate new ideas that lead to concrete tools and programmes. We are excited to learn about new projects as well as to showcase our ongoing partnerships between Iziko Museums, the Robben Island Museum and Great Zimbabwe.”

A curatorial committee composed of curators Ngaire Blankenberg (Founding Director of the Institute for Creative Repair), Emmanuel Kasarhérou (President of the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac in Paris), and curatorial assistant Kefiloe Siwisa reviewed over 200 proposals to pull together a programme that seeks to highlight the most urgent issues in the sector. The programme went through multiple rounds of feedback and input from the steering committee, comprising 28 stakeholders, in a collaborative process.

“We have prioritised proposals that provide new perspectives on managing and interpreting heritage in 2024 and beyond in (Southern) Africa and also for African collections in French museums. We are looking forward to hearing from the excellent speakers and participants how the sector can become more relevant, dynamic and sustainable,’’ says programme curator Ngaire Blankenberg.

Panel discussions, roundtables and performances will tackle some of the broader issues that resonate across sectors, while Pecha Kucha sessions will highlight innovative case studies. Concurrent hands-on workshops aim to provide participants with new skills. A dedicated space will showcase immersive digital art, including the notable VR/XR installation, Kwasukasukela, by Inka Kendzia and Xabiso Vili.

In addition to the formal convening programme, delegates will have the opportunity to participate in guided tours of Robben Island Museum’s Mayibuye Archives at UWC Campus,  Kewpie Daughter of District 6 at District Six Museum, and the Seismography of a Struggle exhibition at Zeitz Mocaa.  

Registrations for the convening are open, and ticket prices range from R200 (students) to R500, which includes the opening ceremony and the soirée.

To view the full programme, visit: 



Sponsors: Absa, Memorist, Groot Constantia.  

Venue Partners: The Homecoming Centre of the District Six Museum, Iziko Museums of South Africa and Zeitz MOCAA. 

Government entity/ Private organisations: Department of Sports, Art and Culture (DSAC), the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO), the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA), the South African Museums Association (SAMA), the International Council of Museums South Africa (ICOM), the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), Innovation Foundation for Democracy 

Corporate/Other: Investec Cape Town Art Fair, the Hasso Plattner d-school Afrika*

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