The CASA Conference

The Anti-Apartheid Beweging Nederland (AABN), which was part of the Dutch Anti-Apartheid Movement, organised the Culture in Another South Africa (CASA) conference and festival in Amsterdam on 14 - 19 Dec 1987.

The CASA conference was a week-long event that took place in different venues, some of which were theatres. The CASA foundation was established to organise the conference but it folded in 1990 after operating for three years.

The CASA foundation’s legacy has been integrated into the AABN at the International Institute of Social History. The conference included the participation of the African National Congress’s Department of Arts and Culture and the outcome was to create a collective view and understanding of the role of arts and culture in the struggle for liberation and democracy in South Africa. 

One of the objectives was the importance of cultural workers and artists organising themselves and creating structures, both locally and internationally, in order to coordinate their activities and to take an organised stand against apartheid from an arts and cultural perspective. They did so whilst addressing all forms of oppression and exploitation and speaking to the masses using symbolism and a language that created crossovers and in forms that people could relate to.

Much of this stance was taken in order to support the promotion and growth of Black art and culture, as well as being a form of affirmative action within the physical landscape, allowing for equal opportunities for Black creative and democratic artistic voices in South Africa. Overall the organisation set out to highlight the importance of cultural and artistic practices within the liberation struggle and, more especially, culture, as the preservation of humanity.

Archive Link:

• Culture in Another South Africa URL:

Last updated : 01-Jun-2017

This article was produced by South African History Online on 24-May-2017

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