Time Travels utilized to bridge divides and change society

The theme for this conference is: Bridging Diversity, which I think is quite a relevant topic given the history of South Africa. I am aware that this conference will explore the role of Time Travels as a tool in unfolding local history and the reconciliation of marginalized communities.  

I think the Time Travels are extremely important in exploring historical perspectives, linking the past with the present to promote an awareness of the past and identity. Time Travels are giving us the opportunity to review our history. Due to the past our communities in South Africa are still divided along racial and social lines. We have an obligation to transcend these divides by presenting history that is meaningful to all communities. The focus on local history gives us an opportunity to develop a connection between ourselves, our museums and the environment to explore the untold histories and make the understanding of diversity easier.  

Time Travels on authentic sites recreates a real life experience using all the senses. I know that in Sweden, the commitment of museums has been essential in ensuring the success of Time Travels. Being a person with a love for song, music, dance and storytelling, I am happy to note that it plays a large part in Time Travels. The value of Time Travels in raising the importance of local history and identity is recognized in promoting crosscultural contacts and bridging divides that is characteristic of South African communities.  

It is essential that methods such as Time Travel be utilized to provide learners and students with the opportunity to develop the confidence to bridge divides and change society. This conference is aimed at people working in museums, schools, tertiary institutions and community institutions. I am told the sessions will cover Time Travel methods and educational work in marginalized communities and the role of museums and education in promoting cultural identity and the sharing of a common history.  

On behalf of the Western Cape Cultural Community I want express my appreciation at these developments and feel deeply honored that you have chosen SA, and in fact this occasion, to do so. Thank you for agreeing that the 2008 conference be hosted here at the Worcester museum. Not only will this conference be a platform to discuss our challenges but it will also build and strengthen our cross continental networks and partnerships.