Glynn Alard is the Natural History Educator at Iziko Museums of South Africa. His job entails developing and presenting educational programmes to learners, which he finds personally enriching, he says, as our heritage is always a conversation between generations. He believes that all heritage belongs to all people, because we change the world by being present: ‘The separations of the past taught us to believe that we should only take pride in our own community’s past, but this is wrong, because we affect each other more than we think.’ When he shows learners how connected our ancestors’ heritages were or how we are part of the natural world, he says, they begin to understand that we have always been connected, and always will be.
Mr Alard has a Master’s Degree in Science, a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, and a technical degree in Nature Conservation. He loves natural history, and often tries to get outside to photograph and identify whatever he can find – especially flowers!
Mr Alard has identified the Middle Stone Age exhibition, currently showcased at the Iziko South African Museum, as his favourite, as it shows how absolutely connected people have been to the natural environment for the last 80 000 years in what is now the Western Cape coastal plain. Humans have always been an important part of the ecosystem, he says, and we have always been sustained by the environment.
Mr Alard would love to visit Iran, Cambodia and the Turkic Republics in central Asia. He has been lucky enough to have seen many parts of the United States, Britain, and the eastern parts of southern Africa as far north as Malawi. Lastly, he loves the bustle of central Cape Town and the historical and architectural melting pot of the City Bowl. His favourite spots for wildflowers are Silvermine and the Rondebosch Common. Outside of Cape Town, he is always drawn inland to the dry, wide-open spaces of the Northern Cape, and the subtropical beauty of the Lowveld in Mpumalanga and Limpopo.