Searching for relevance: survival strategies of museums during times of political uncertainty in south africa

19 Jul 2016

The author attempts to shed light on the consequences of politically induced changes in the museum landscape. He describes how two South African museums, Museum Africa and the Origins Centre, search for and find new relevance after the demise of apartheid and the rise of a new political regime. While one museum finds new meaning in its collection, the other joins forces with other institutions and takes advantage of new business opportunities. This article discusses survival mechanisms of institutions that rarely find their way into the headlines and thereby creates awareness of the potential consequences of political changes for cultural life.