The SA Naval Museum is an institutional member of the SA Museums Association. SAMA is committed to supporting and developing an inclusive museum and heritage sector in South Africa by providing leadership in the management of heritage.
The highlight of the ‘museum year’ is undoubtedly the annual SAMA conference, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, last year’s conference was cancelled. This year the organisers decided to host the conference as a virtual (zoom) event. The theme of the two day conference held on 7 and 8 August was ‘The future of museums: Recover and re imagine’.

The SA Naval Museum is an active participant and again entered the Publication Design Award competition, but were unfortunately not able to repeat our 2019 win. This coming up against 15 other museums, we nevertheless received a ‘Special Mention’, ending up in the top five among some notable ‘museum heavies’. We certainly punch above our weight!

It was however the conference papers and subsequent dialogue and discussions that were of real value to the museum practitioner. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected museums across the world who are desperate to attract a new audience. Sabine Lehmann was one of the speakers and provided important perspectives on “Motivators for Cultural Participation”, forcing us to consider “why people visit museums (or not)”.

Recovering and re imaging will require a new way of thinking and a new way of doing museum business.