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International Museum Day: Colonial period diseases hot topic at virtual symposium

Iziko South African National Gallery. Picture: Iziko South African National Gallery

Iziko South African National Gallery. Picture: Iziko South African National Gallery

Published May 18, 2021

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Cape Town - A presentation looking back at the diseases during South Africa’s colonial period will feature as part of the International Museum Day programme for the second Iziko Virtual Symposium.

The symposium, which will be held from today until Thursday, will be presented via Zoom and Iziko’s Facebook page.

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The symposium, facilitated by Iziko educator Glynn Alard, will feature interactive lunchtime sessions showcasing the work, research and practice of Iziko curators, collections staff, conservators and educators, and explore the museums’ collections within today’s environmental and social contexts.

Alard said some presenters included in the symposium would be Tessa Davids, Hayden Proud, Ntombi Tywakadi, and Sibusiso Mtungata.

“The aim is not just to experience the spaces, but to meet the people who make it all possible. Ordinary visitors to our museums usually have access to the exhibition areas only, and perhaps a ‘behind the scenes’ tour if prearranged. However, very few get the opportunity to engage staff and hear about the work they do.”

Alard said the virtual symposium would provide an opportunity for direct engagement as they delve into the storerooms, laboratories, vaults, and archives of Iziko.

“The presentations have been selected to cover a broad range of topics and a few highlights include the discussion on the sculptures within the Iziko South African National Gallery atrium, and the policies that provide mechanisms for museums to be accountable to the South African nation for the collections they hold and manage.

“A presentation looking back at diseases in South Africa during the colonial period is particularly interesting to look forward to, with the current Covid-19 pandemic’s heightened awareness of the far-reaching effects of disease on society,” said Alard.

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Viewers were requested to consult the Iziko website and social media pages for links to register for attendance and on registration, electronic links to each day’s event will be emailed to viewers for joining in the session via the Zoom app.

[email protected]

Cape Argus

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