A true and thorough study of any kind requires an examination of the historical development and context of the subject. A learner has to take into account all of the available information about the study: biographical information, knowledge of the historical climate and social conditions, philosophical and aesthetic considerations of the period of study; as well as an examination of working methods or techniques will all add to an accurate understanding of the subject.
We came from a people for whom education’s goal was to create inferior citizens. At points certain types of knowledge were even punishable by law; yet this only made learners seek it all the more: they hungered to discover the power that came with this knowledge and the respect it elicited from others. We live in a world where we do not encounter hunger for knowledge. Students of the creative fields care not for any situational knowledge; they seek only the latest Photoshop brush or filter that will bling up their visual communication.
This has serious consequences for the generation that will inherit our visual creations. The Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology (circa 1996) sought to define “heritage” as "that which we inherit: the sum total ... sites of ... historical importance, national monuments, historic buildings, works of art, literature and music, oral traditions and museum collections together with their documentation."
(Statement issued by the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, 17 September 1996) http://www.info.gov.za/speeches/1996/960918_0x89096.htm
More than that, heritage is a birthright. By our sheer existence we are privileged to it. It comes naturally reserved for us. We are busy creating the heritage of the generation that will come after us. What do we leave for them?
• Are any of our creations worthy of historical importance?
• Will our works reside in national monuments and historic buildings?
• Are we creating worthy works of art? Literature and music?
September 24 is Heritage Day
• Who is documenting the future heritage of those that will come after us?
Writer: Tebogo Serobatse Photographers: Retha Ferguson