In October this year the South African Museums Association (SAMA) will hold their annual conference, with the theme for 2018 being ‘Hyperconnected Museums: New Approaches, New Publics’. The theme talks to the evolution of museums, which have necessarily adapted with the times, incorporating all manner of technologies into their daily operations.
Here at home, Durban Local History Museums (DLHM) regularly communicate with the public via emailed newsletters, and run programmes such as Ulwazi that can receive contributions from their readers via their website, which can be accessed with a smart phone. Facebook and Twitter are also used to interact with the community, with questions and comments from social media sometimes informing the content of the Ulwazi blog posts. The Durban Liberation Heritage Route, another project of DLHM, will soon link visitors to information about the various sites that make up the route via QR codes displayed on wayfinder pylons, with information being supplied in both English and isiZulu. Language, which has historically excluded great proportions of the South African public from knowledge, can now be used to make museums more inclusive, with news articles being published in local languages.
These are just some of the ways in which DLHM are using technology to connect with communities. In preparation for the 2018 conference SAMA is calling for papers that explore this concept of hyperconnectivity in the context of South African museums. The deadline for submission of abstracts is Tuesday the 30th June 2018.
For further information please contact Tom Jeffery: t.jeffery@nelm.org.za/046 622 7042

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