OpenSA! launches in Johannesburg today with a pilot project to make South African heritage more accessible for remixing and re-publishing by online creators. In collaboration with SA Rocks and the African Commons Project, OpenSA! is collecting, tagging and managing donations from people who are willing to make their material freely available online. OpenSA! will also be helping to coordinate outreach to South Africa’s young creators to enable them to learn more about how to find open content that they are free to remix and share.
As access to the Internet grows in South Africa, so too does the range of creative activity by a new generation of active online citizens. Internet publishing in the form of blogging and citizen journalism, online publishing of photographic, video and music publishing are all part of a wide range of democratic speech that we as a young nation are trying to encourage and nurture.
There are some moments in the history and culture of South Africa that are part of our shared heritage – such as Nelson Mandela’s speech when he was released from prison in 1990 or Thabo Mbeki’s ‘I am an African’ speech. For the first time in history we have the means to make those moments available to more than just the professional journalists, filmmakers and researchers who were traditionally authorized to re-publish them.
OpenSA! is a pilot project dedicated to the growing number of young South Africans who are finding their voice online. The project was started in order to nurture this creativity by making it easier for young creators to find and share media about our heritage safely and legally.