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Why is South Africa a developing country

South Africa is an anomaly among developing countries. It is both a developed country with good infrastructure and also a country with huge social and economic problems. There is a wide gulf between recipients of development aid on the one hand and skilled professionals on the other. In this assumption lie both the challenges and opportunities for audiovisual preservation. In itemizing the issues, challenges, hurdles and obstacles, my chosen keywords are institutional growth, consciousness and expertise. The District Six Museum developed almost without evident design since its conception at a conference in 1988. Yet the sound archives, a new project conceived in 1997, had the luxury of being modelled on ethnographic and public sound archives in the USA and elsewhere. The key scholarly disciplines underpinning its work are History, Fine Arts, Social Science and Ethnomusicology. We need to build an appropriate archival model for this museumbased sound archives. There are a number of considerations. The museum has had a profound effect on heritage work. Our museum is a young institution and is in the grip of what some call the ‘Founder syndrome’. It has a very active board of trustees. It is still an institutional ‘baby’ being weaned by community-based activists, politicians and professional academics. In some cases, there is a direct political, emotional or professional interest in the work of the museum. This creates a wonderful non-bureaucratic atmosphere. But it also means…read more



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