Local Cultural Governance and South African Cities: Pitfalls and Possibilities by Zayd Minty
Faces of the City seminar:
Local Cultural Governance and South African Cities: Pitfalls and Possibilities by Zayd Minty, Cultural Policy and Management Department in the Wits School of Arts
Date: 17 September 2019
Venue: First Floor Seminar Room, John Moffat Building, Wits
Abstract: South African cities and towns are important nodes of dynamism and opportunity for a citizenry challenged by resource inequities, service delivery concerns, growing polarizations around identity and sense of belonging, and climate change impacts. But they are also sites of deep contestations and contradictions, key for transformation.
Edgar Pieterse suggested in a 2006 paper, Building with Ruins and Dreams, that culture can inform inclusive and sustainable city making in South Africa. He proposed, amongst others, a radical model of collaborative cultural governance towards such ends. The importance of the relational in local cultural policy thinking, for just and sustainable cities has been affirmed by researchers and global bodies (such as UNESCO and United Cities and Local Government). New ways of thinking about the “how to” of working generatively with culture in this way have surfaced from around the globe.
What could this discourse mean for South African cities today? The Cultural Policy and Management department is exploring the establishment of a ten year research and development agenda into the opportunities posed by working with the notion of cultural governance for South African cities towards sustainable and inclusive cities. This session will focus on: a historiography of the use of culture in city making; current trends in policy, practice and research; how this speaks to practice and writing from South Africa and the Global South; and what seems to be suggesting for the proposed long term agenda.
Biography: Zayd Minty is a cultural management professional and researcher interested in the role of culture in better city making for South Africa and the Global South. He is a research associate at the Cultural Policy and Management Department in the Wits School of Arts and a doctoral candidate at the African Centre for Cities (UCT). His thesis looks at the Newtown Cultural Precinct in inner city Johannesburg as a case to explore local cultural governance and clusters, in complex contexts.
The Faces of the City seminar series is a partnership between the Centre for Urbanism and Built Environment Studies (CUBES) and the South African Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning (SA&CP) in the School of Architecture and Planning; the Gauteng City Region Observatory (GCRO); and the Wits City Institute (WCI).
The seminar series is an interdisciplinary forum focusing on all areas of urban interest. Faces of the City welcomes presentations from fields such as urban planning, architecture, sociology, geography, anthropology, environmental studies, and cultural studies. If you would like to motivate for a particular speaker or topic, email firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration by the committee.