Panga people, have you noticed how artefacts, artworks and specimens are always hung lopsided (like landmine victims) at the Iziko museums of Cape Town? Call PM picky, but PM wants the sanity of basic standards to be upheld. PM finds this visual irritant indicative of the systematic problems within Iziko. It’s about time that somebody dissects the corpses that our museums “of excellence” have become.

PM actually feels concern when PM goes to view an exhibition at Iziko , and things are hung straight! When this rare occurrence of even- spacing is evident, PM looks sympathetically around for the limping collection manager -clasping their white gloves, or the curator with dark rings under their eyes…. cause shame… they are the poor professionals, that have just been forced to donate vital organs in exchange for the miracle.

On the upside, we can thank Gward that the South African museum has wheel chair access, cause it won’t be long before the entire Social and Natural History professionals that are left at Iziko, will require them. There are only so many vital organs and limbs these professionals can sacrifice before they become totally professionally disabled .

“The disabling of professionals -we do it best here” this should be the copy text under the Iziko logo. What is Iziko anyway? Well Panga people, Iziko is the umbrella system that disables professionals in the museum sector of the Western Cape. Thus, it’s the umbrella system that places our natural and cultural collections at risk with nobody empowered to care for them.  Who are these museum professionals PM is referring to? They are specialists with degrees and doctorates in the care, research and understanding of social history, art and natural history. These are not stupid people, but you can be as sure, as ice-cream melts in summer, that they get treated as such by Iziko. These specialists find themselves so far down the Iziko structural landslide, that the only people below them are the cleaning staff (No disrespect to the cleaning staff is intended here).

The structure of the Iziko Museums is an inverted triangle, where the saying “kuk floats” seems to apply like it does at the municipal sewage works. There is a CEO , and the people who talk to the CEO at meetings , and then there are the project managers that manage the people, that manage the other people, that manage the executives that prop up the other top brass, that manage the others, who are having very long tea breaks while they wait for their managers to sign off  on(in triplicate), the forms that are required, before they can tell the poor museum professionals, that hanging things straight is not a key performance area in their job descriptions.

Agh shame….. Shame for the professionals who are made to look like unprofessional assholes in front of their colleagues – nationally and internationally. Shame for us museum goers who only want what our tax money pays for. Shame on Iziko, with its sheltered employment and ineffectual systems. Shame on the cultural community for not formalising its concerns and shame on the minister of culture, who really does not seem to be aware, or interested in what is happening to our museums.

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  1. Peter Hayes says:

    PM have you been taking up CAGE FIGHTING lately?
    You did blog about kick-boxing, but this is a whole new level.

    I bet i’m the not the last of my friends to ‘like’

  2. Hangdog says:

    Damn straight. I work at Iziko, I hang all my pictures straight, I have rings under my eyes and only half a kidney left. And I will never, ever move up a pay-grade.

  3. 2 years have passed since the below and things are getting worse.

  4. chip says:

    The situation means that any individual with an interest in maintaining sanity and good health has to resign from Iziko, no matter how much they love the museums and collections. The only worthwhile staff currently at Iziko are either job hunting or extremely close to retirement.

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