Swaziland National Arts and Culture Policy
The key objectives of the measure are:
- To enable the language, heritage history, handicraft, fine arts, oral literature, folk lore, beliefs and other cultural features of the people of Swaziland to receive equal recognition and respect from humanity; to preserve and conserve these and pass them over to future generations;
- To create conducive conditions to carry out scientific research on the language, heritage history, handicrafts, fine arts, oral literature, traditional lore, beliefs and other cultural features, which as they are constitute the identity of the peoples of Swaziland; to ensure the prosperity of these cultural elements and to enhance their role in development;
- To ensure that all citizens can freely, equally and democratically participate in all art and cultural activities and to enable them to benefit from the sector;
- To create situations favourable to creative artists and researchers working in the cultural sector;
- To promote art and culture and to develop these in harmony with modern education, science, and technology; and to create culture conscious citizens that are proud of their culture and identity and are determined to preserve these;
- To ensure that traditional practices are not at variance with Human Rights;
- To enable arts and cultural establishments to play a significant role in the country’s programme to maintain peace, development and democracy;
- To establish cultural co-operation on national, continental and international levels on the basis of the equality of cultures and mutual benefit and respect;
- To ensure the growth and development of our cultural institutions and make them relevant to human development, democratic governance and national integration.
- To promote heritage preservation, conservation, promotion and the use of traditional and modern arts and crafts to create wealth and alleviate poverty.
To create awareness of the traditional values and generate pride and respect for the nation’s heritage.
The Policy provides the framework for the promotion of art and culture for development and complies with international and regional instruments on culture. The core principles underlying this Policy are:
3.1 Promoting Unity in Diversity
Due to globalisation, there are diverse cultures in Swaziland. The Policy interventions shall therefore focus on the promotion of harmonious co-existence among the different communities and encourage intra and inter-cultural exchange.
3.2 Respecting one’s and the others’ Culture
Respect for culture is crucial for mutual interdependence, which is a prerequisite for social harmony and cohesion. The Policy interventions shall focus on advocacy for respect of the individuals’ culture and other cultures.
3.3 Ensuring Social Inclusion
There are some children, youth, women, the disabled, the elderly, and people living with HIV/AIDS who are marginalised by some socio-cultural practices. These include the shunning of widows in public and community events. The Policy interventions shall therefore focus on affirmative action to ensure that these categories of people participate in and benefit from cultural life.
3.4 Promoting Cultural Change
Culture is dynamic and cultural change is inevitable. Whilst certain elements of culture are to be preserved, it is important to catalyse change to address social and gender inequalities. The Policy interventions shall therefore encourage adapting and adopting to new ideas and approaches within the laws of Swaziland.
3.5 Promoting Environmental Protection
Cultural practitioners interact with and derive cultural products from the environment. Some elements of culture impact on the environment. The environment is threatened by environmental degradation, which negatively impacts on culture activities that rely on the environment. The Policy interventions shall therefore emphasise environmental protection.
3.6 Strengthening Partnerships
There are various stakeholders in the delivery of cultural goods and services. It is therefore importa
Culture is not static but dynamic and therefore it has to evolve with the people of Swaziland as they march in unison to the information and technology age. This Art and Culture policy should provide a guide to enable the Swazi culture to evolve in a controlled direction.
Specifically this Policy shall provide a framework to;
- Enhance the appreciation of the role of arts and culture in national development;
- Promote aspects of Swaziland’s cultural heritage that are cherished by its people;
- Ensure effective intra and inter-cultural exchange for harmonious coexistence;
- Facilitate community action against practices that impinge on human dignity;
- Guide, harmonise, complement and promote the distinct and complementary interventions and roles of stakeholders at all levels;
- Guide the private sector, traditional/cultural institutions and civil society organisations to research on and advocate for arts and culture promotion.
- Define the broad framework within which culture in Swaziland should be conceptualised.
- Enable government and other stakeholders to appreciate how they share responsibility for the creation of mechanisms and the mobilisation of resources that will facilitate the development and implementation of programmes for arts and cultural development.
- Identify structures and strategies that can provide a conducive environment for the preservation, promotion and presentation of the cultural heritage.
The Swaziland National Council of Arts and Culture receives a subvention from the Government. The Goverment allocates a budget to the Swaziland National Council of Arts and culture for running of the whole institution of which part of their major activities touch on the implimentation of the above mentioned measure. Other partners make their contribution to the Council to be allocated to the various affiliates.
The Swaziland National Trust Commission receives a subvention towards the protection of art and culture in the country. The Swaziland National Trust Commission works with the Swaziland National Council of Arts and Culture in implimenting the measure the above.
The conclusion was that there is a need to engage more stakeholders to assist in the measure. It was discovered that important stakeholders to the Convention are not involved and so not taking an active part in the implementatin of the convention