About "Hack Ur Culture" in Subsaharan Africa

“Hack Ur Culture” is a platform that brings together GLAM institutions (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) with creative minds and tech enthusiasts to bring about collaborations and innovations deriving from open cultural data.

It is a collaborative program between the Goethe-Institutes in Subsaharan Africa and the South African digital startup Credipple.  “Hack your Culture” collaborates with institutions and organizations all over the African continent that have cultural collections in order to make information about cultural heritage accessible in a trustworthy way.

Why do we organize “Hack Ur Culture”?

“Hack Ur Culture” was launched with the awareness that culture belongs to all of us, not only to researchers, academics, or government institutions. Therefore, cultural archives must be able to be enjoyed by the public without high entrance fees and other constraints on access.

But “Hack your Culture” does not stop at access — utilization is also of importance. It is wonderful to have digitized art works and documents but they also need to be brought to life. If the public is given the flexibility to reuse cultural archives with their own creativity, galleries, libraries, museums and archives will become richer and will not be threatened by public access. Creative approaches to the visualization of digital content in galleries will make knowledge transfer clearer and can thereby enrich discussions in our institutions and societies. 

When was the last time you visited a museum or saw an exhibition in an art gallery? Did you know that the collection on display represents only a small part of the entire owned collection? Cultural institutions such as art galleries, libraries, archiving agencies, and museums have abundant collections that have been accumulated for decades or even centuries. However, the public has limited access and can enjoy only a part of that abundance. What would happen if most of the collection could be easily accessed by the public? Or if people could also use it in their own artwork or creations with different and new interpretations?

The richness of South African culture and heritage should be accessible by all people who wish to learn about this country. Creating awareness around cultural archives and open data broadens public access while preserving that knowledge through digital means so the public can easily appreciate and show respect to South African culture.

What are the goals of “Hack Ur Culture”?

“Hack Ur Culture” cooperates with cultural institutions in opening cultural data to the public and invites interested people to use the data creatively so that the institution can also benefit when the cultural data is transformed. There will be workshops and a Cultural Hackathon. The topic of the Hackathon will be “Cultural Heritage”.

What is open cultural data?

Open cultural data is cultural information in various formats (texts, manuscripts, pictures, photos, sounds, videos etc.) that can be accessed, used, modified and shared freely for any purpose. What we mean by cultural information is the expression of the ways communities live and develop, whether tangible or intangible, passed on from generation to generation—their customs, objects, artefacts and artistic expressions.

Why does cultural data need to be open?

Opening cultural data means people can apply their own creativity and viewpoints in order to transform the data and extend it beyond its initial state. This will in turn enrich our culture.

When will "Hack Ur Culture" be held?

Check out our Call for Applications!