Title:South Africa, Storytelling, and the Web
Authors:Yngvar Natland, Katherine Goodnow
Publication:MW2002: Museums and the Web 2002

The Iziko museums in Cape Town, South Africa in collaboration with the International Museums Studies Programme at the University of Bergen, Norway, have jointly developed a web-based concept that combines oral storytelling with new technology to connect schools in the South and North. Awaiting funding, this project will be trailed later this year. African storytelling traditions support communal ownership of stories and involve multiple forms of expression: mime, dance, music as well as verbal narrative. The South African project considers how the internet can be utilised to support and enhance these forms of storytelling with authors in the South and North. The paper considers parameters of community involvement in widely differing socio-economic contexts. Township involvement includes extending storytelling workshops at community centres to the web. Focusing on technology transfer, the paper also considers the relationship between central museums developed within the apartheid system with newly established community centres on the periphery of urban centres. It reviews the need for changes to established museums in the post-apartheid period with a particular emphasis on incorporating black history and contemporary oral history into social and cultural museums, both physical and web-based, in South Africa.