Ocean Connections: a multimedia exhibition

An in-person art exhibition Ocean Connections was organised in South End Museum in Algoa Bay, South Africa in March. Following the launch of the exhibition on 23 March, attendees and organisers gathered for a multi-stakeholder workshop to explore how to better integrate cultural connections, Indigenous and local knowledges in area-based ocean management in South Africa. Both events were well-attended, bringing together the Secretary for the MSP National Working Group, the national manager for maritime heritage, provincial and local ocean managers, conservation authorities, industry, NGOs and of course the co-researchers and residents of Algoa Bay.

“Indigenous and local knowledge is important for how we use and care for our oceans and coasts. Too often, these knowledge systems and knowledge holders are excluded from how the ocean is used and managed. This project has therefore been exploring ways of using photography and storytelling to convey people’s personal relationship with the ocean, and has so far found strong cultural connections to the ocean and coast, particularly highlighting aspects of spiritual significance, learning, cultural heritage and history, fun and wellbeing. The exhibition is the result of this work”, says Hub’s early-career researcher Mia Strand

The exhibition was organised by Hub early-career researchers Mia Strand (Nelson Mandela University, South Africa) and Nina Rivers (Nelson Mandela University, South Africa) together with Rachel Baasch (Curator of the exhibition). The follow-up workshop was organised by Nina Rivers, Bernadette Snow (Strathclyde University, UK) and Mia Strand with the help of Denning Metuge (University of South Africa) and Loylah (Chilo) Nonyane (Nelson Mandela University)

The event is multi funded: under the One Ocean Hub, Nina is leading this as part of her post-doctoral work, while Mia is exploring the methodology as part of her PhD. Chilo is collecting data as part of the South Africa-Norway Oceans (SANOCEAN) programme, which aims at developing sustainable fisheries in estuaries. The project is one of the multi-funded contributions to the Algoa Bay project that the Hub also supports.

Artist: Siyasanga Ntabeni

Artist: Haseline van Vught
Artist: Francis Nkaki. Photo: Mia Strand