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Curating: digital collections as a foundation for curating an archive

Code: HDC022

PresenterAndré Croucamp

Venue: Lecture Theatre

Date: Saturday April 13, 2013

Duration: Half day, morning sessions

Style: Lecture and Workshop

Participants: 30

Prerequisite: None

Cost: R995 (ex VAT)

A digital archive, once created, is a wonderful resource upon from which to draw on to curate the entire archive. André Croucamp has a passion for curating archives. He is a media developer who has researched, written, designed and produced a variety of media including educational comics, games, textbooks, documentaries and museum exhibitions.

What content will be covered?

At the heart of all André’s work is an educational methodology that not only aims to make knowledge accessible but to facilitate the meaningful participation of viewers in the process of creating knowledge. This requires the transformation of a user, or a visitor, or a spectator, into a participant – blurring the distinction between exhibition and audience. In the process of understanding this shift in perspective this workshop will explore:

  • critical and creative approaches to the process of curating an archive;
  • the role of interpretation in the representation of archival material;
  • dealing with multiple interpretations, multiple strands of evidence, and multiple voices – challenging the idea of history as authoritative, complete and resolved;
  • the challenges of working together with traditional communities, representing oral histories and traditional knowledge systems;
  • the translation of the archive into different media, including print, film, interactive digital technology and social networking media;
  • organising principles for designing stimulating and meaningful exhibitions;
  • reading archives ‘against the grain’ or in ways that were not originally intended to be read.

What will I gain?

  • think about digital archives as source material for various media and integrate that perspective into your strategic planning and policies;
  • understand the full range of possibilities for curating an archive;
  • think critically and creatively about representing archival material in a way that:
    • promotes your archive,
    • raises funds for preserving your archive,
    • contributes to the international discourse,
    • participates actively in the local community of practice,
    • educates the public, and
    • invites people to enter into a dynamic and generative dialogue with the material.


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