The National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIHSS) held a Humanities Hubs symposium on 07 September 2017 where presentations were made by the Institute's Humanities Hubs Programme grant recipients. Themed “Amagezi si gomu” - a Kiganda proverb which translates to “no one has a monopoly of knowledge, the event was attended by researchers, indigenous knowledge practitioners, heritage and archival custodians.
The participants explored various practices employed in the documenting and disseminating of knowledges. This entails discussing the material as well as symbolic practices, which underpin local and indigenous knowledges affirmed by the humanities hubs represented. Panellists discussed the possibilities of critically engaging the archive through academic and popular lenses. Vuyani Booi of the University of Fort Hare’s National Heritage and Cultural Studies Centre shared experiences of curating liberation struggle history archives.
Steven Sack of the WITS Origins Centre along with Dr. Thomas Cousins of isiMangaliso provided reflections on South Africa’s tangible and intangible heritage in the form of oral histories, locales and artefacts as well as local curatorial and archival practices. Masa Soko from the Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum and Nic Wolpe of the Liliesleaf Farm made presentations on behalf of their organisations. The panellists explored a number of thematic areas which will continue to guide the Humanities Hubs programme:
- Pre, ante and post-colonial archaeologies, histories and theories
- Indigenous knowledge systems
- Histories of Labour Migration in Southern Africa
- Ecosystems and Biodiversity
- Heritage studies and archival practices