Between 10 and 5 http://10and5.com The South African creative showcase Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:00:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Featured: Wild Cat Street Art by Sonny http://10and5.com/2014/10/30/featured-wild-cat-street-art-by-sonny/ http://10and5.com/2014/10/30/featured-wild-cat-street-art-by-sonny/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 12:00:29 +0000 http://10and5.com/?p=90760

Relative newcomer, Sonny, is the street artist responsible for the bright new murals of wild cats that have leapt into the Jozi skyline.

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Sonny

 

Have you noticed the bright new murals of wild cats that have leapt into the Jozi skyline? These bold paintings are the work of British-born South Africa based street artist, Sonny. A relative newcomer to the street art scene, Sonny is quickly gaining attention for his distinctive and imaginative style, and the commissions are rolling in. Look out for a new mural going up in Braamfontein soon!

 

When did you first start painting, and what made you want to take your art to the streets?

 

I started painting about 3 years ago. I used to only do the odd pencil drawing and then got an urge for colour so I just tried to figure it all out. Still learning…

 

Has your style changed over time? How have you honed and developed it?

 

Yes tremendously. I used to draw manga style characters in pencil and really loved Japanese work. When I started learning colour I then started adding some sort of fantasy elements into my work with influence from the amazing work of Boris Vallejo. From there I guess I must of got a bit side tracked by realism and colour. Never really liking too much of what I did I started playing around with my style, mixing the fantasy and realism elements into my more modern style with some geometric patterns and line work. I’ve kind of settled on a style for now…but it’ll always evolve.

 

With a passion for street art and big painting I’ve just pushed my mural sizes and will probably continue to do so…it’s pretty fun.

 

Are there recurring themes and motifs in your work? What are they and how have they developed?

 

Not in the past really, mostly each commissioned piece I’ve done has had its own individual theme. I really haven’t been established long enough to have had recurring themes in my own artwork, it’s been evolving too much while establishing a style I’m happy with. My next project, a solo exhibit, has a recurring theme around animal conservation but I’ll talk about that closer to the time.

 

Can you take us through your creative process…

 

Well it all starts with an idea inspired by some event or thought, I let this develop in my head for a while until I get a concept and I know what to paint. I then get to a computer where I sketch and colour the idea…from there on the wall it goes.

 

Sonny Sonny Sonny

 

What’s the inspiration behind the series of works you’re busy with in Jozi?

 

The city looks a bit rough around the edges; I feel a bit of paint in the right places may spruce things up a bit, what ye think?

 

In what ways does the city inspire and influence your work?

 

Joburg city has a crazy vibe; it’s really raw and diverse, particularly where I did these last murals. The Maboneng precinct is a hub of creative, of arts, fashion, film and the like with upmarket bars and restaurants, but just down the road you see a poor man dragging his world through the streets. It’s mad and contradictory. The city is a crazy place to watch from 15m up…a lot goes on. It showed me the city in a sort of live stop motion film. So I guess this all influences the work in some way. The happiness in the people’s faces in the streets during the process left an imprint on my mind and has motivated me to do more.

 

My leopard mural ‘the leap’ was inspired by the craziness and chaos of the city, where this godly animal jumps out of the wall, breaking free to roam in a land where it once did before it was taken over by bricks and concrete.

 

In what ways does the subject matter of your art respond and interplay with the urban setting it is located in?

 

Well, the two murals “the leap” and “the break” are both forming/morphing in some way and are breaking free into the city. The tiger is morphing in the clouds then takes shape and form as it breaches into the air of the city. You can see it from the highway as it comes over the yard into the street.

 

Then the leopard was inspired by the city and its space, as it’s breaking free from the chaotic patterns that represent the city. Also an unintentional interaction between murals happened, seen by photographer Peter Primich who caught a shot of the leopard seemingly leaping into the impala drinking water in Freddy Sam’s mural across the way.

 

Sonny Sonny Sonny

 

Are there trends in street art? If so, what are some of the current things you’re noticing locally and internationally?

 

Trends? I don’t think so, art is all about the individual and everybody seems to do their own thing from what I see. The local scene is small yet growing, where as the international scene is vast…there are lots of cool artists out there all doing their own thing.

 

Is the Jozi street art scene distinct in any way?

 

JHB city is pretty notorious…so there’s an edge to it I guess and street artists that get a chance at it take full advantage. It’s growing though.

 

Which artists’ work do you admire and why?

 

Locally I admire street artist Faith47 and Dal East, they’re both locally based and their individual styles are so unique; they’re doing awesome stuff internationally for the love of art!

 

Internationally, lately I dig Case’s work from the Maclaim Crew, his photorealism with a spray can is next level. Otherwise people like el mac, Aryz, INTI, Hopare, Sainer, Fintan Magee and others all give me inspiration with their awesome, unique style.

 

What’s next for you?

 

Next, I’m doing a few other street murals but I’m mainly working on my first solo exhibition “To The Bone”, a mixture of murals, canvass work and real animal skulls. I will hopefully complete it early next year…

 

www.sonnyonline.com

Follow Sonny on Facebook

 

Sonny Sonny SonnySonnySonny

 

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Featured: Nolan Oswald Dennis | Mapping a history, writing a present and tracing a future http://10and5.com/2014/10/30/featured-nolan-oswald-dennis-mapping-a-history-writing-a-present-and-tracing-a-future/ http://10and5.com/2014/10/30/featured-nolan-oswald-dennis-mapping-a-history-writing-a-present-and-tracing-a-future/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 11:00:32 +0000 http://10and5.com/?p=90691

  Born in Zambia and currently based in Johannesburg, Nolan Oswald Dennis works in drawing, painting, installation, space, time and memory. Though research-based, his work emerges as a reaction – finding its form as he tries to process his thoughts […]

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Resources study

Resources study

 

Born in Zambia and currently based in Johannesburg, Nolan Oswald Dennis works in drawing, painting, installation, space, time and memory. Though research-based, his work emerges as a reaction – finding its form as he tries to process his thoughts and interests, which often relate in some way to (South) African history, popular memory and information systems.

 

To learn more we spoke to Nolan about his intentions and approach to making art, his interest in social fictions and what he believes about the future, the present and the past.

 

What type of environment did you grow up in?

 

I was born in Zambia to parents exiled from Apartheid South Africa. I moved to South Africa in the early 90s and in 1995 my family settled in Midrand, a semi-industrial suburb on the fringes of Johannesburg (it sits between Joburg and Pretoria thus MIDrand). My house was the last house before the veld that used to lie between Johannesburg and Pretoria. The final frontier. The environment was a mixture of abandoned construction sites, unfinished houses and small farms/small dreams. These days the farms and bush have mostly been replaced with medium density townhouses, corporate headquarters, amashisanyama, carwashes and the largest mosque in the Southern hemisphere.

 

When did you realise that a career as an artist was something you wanted to, and could, pursue?

 

I am still working out whether being an artist is something I want to, and can pursue.

 

How have you gone about this? Tell us more about your journey so far…

 

Drawing has always been a way for me to process boredom, unbelonging and frustration with my surroundings. In 2009 Fuzzy Slipperz and I started an art group called Mafuta, which was a great construct to investigate ideas about what types of work I was interested in – particularly in public art. I became obsessively preoccupied with (South) African history, memory and information systems. At some point I enrolled at Wits and got a degree in Architecture which drew me towards installation as a medium. I began hanging out at the Keleketla! Library at the Drill Hall in Hillbrow and engaging with socially oriented, critical practices. The relationships I made through Keleketla! have had a big influence on my work. Through that space I began working with The Brother Moves On, testing combinations of performance and drawing. I also did an open office residency at VANSA earlier this year.

 

What are you influenced and inspired by?

 

In 2009 my housemates were a brother and sister who would do something like this: they would argue about the merits of Mbeki’s recall by evoking Ghost in the Shell, the Treatment Action Campaign, Octavia E. Butler, three six Mafia, the Kenilworth Spar, The Sandman, WWE wrestling, Cowboy Bebop, Wu-Tang, Lesilo, Ronald Suresh Roberts, Naruto, Bram Fischer ad infinitum. This way of moving between fiction and fact, with the blurring of time, space and authority in their construction of a South African subjectivity completely changed my view of what is going on here in this place, and how I relate to it.

 

I’ve been listening to Phillip Tabane and Malombo since I heard Ra talk about them on Soundcloud, I’m always trying to find more Keoropetse Kgosistile poems, JL Dube’s uJeqe- intsila kaShaka, Ghalil Islam’s Fire in The Unnameable Country, Black Audio Film Collective, Cuss group, Euridice Kala, Hac-One.

 

Speculative study 001

Speculative study 001

Speculative study 002

Speculative study 002

 

How would you describe your style or aesthetic, and how has this developed since you first started out?

 

I’m not too concerned with describing my style/aesthetic. I would rather think about intentions. When I was younger I was really into early New York graffiti and badly drawn comics, cartoons and monsters like Roman Dirge’s Lenore, Jhnonen Vasquez’ Invader Zim, and Dub from tube on SABC. I also wanted to be a writer, in the graffiti sense as well as the literary sense.

 

I tend to do a lot of different types of work because a lot of my work is a reaction, trying to process specific things I am interested in at specific times. These interests have mostly been around questions of popular memory, sanctioned history and trying to escape the limitations of my ongoing miseducation. I’m not particularly good at using colour, so my work is generally monochrome for now.

 

Elements studies, 2013

Elements studies, 2013

Elements studies, 2013

Elements studies, 2013

Elements study, 2013

Elements study, 2013

Elements study, 2013

Elements study, 2013

 

How do you approach the art making process? Do you prefer to create in a manner that’s quite spontaneous or, alternately, one that’s pre-planned and well thought out?

 

My work is very research orientated, in a sense it’s totally pre-planned, but up to a certain point and after that I try to let go and hope for the best. My work emerges from things I’m thinking about anyway, for my own non-productive purposes, so art making is almost a by-product of other interests. I am quite pedantic, so in reaction, I constantly try to avoid too much planning of the actual visual element and rather let the ‘thing’ emerge from the action of creating it, in this way any object at the end is more of a process work or a study, for a better next time. I tend to avoid doing compositional sketches where possible.

 

You’ve expressed an interest in ‘aspects of social fiction’ and the ‘collapse of social certainty’. What does this mean to you?

 

I’m interested in creating analogues of entire fields of knowledge, as ways to question the dimensions of specific narratives about (South) Africa, like Borges’ map that is so detailed it is the same size as the country and thus utterly useless and left to disintegrate.

 

Ludwig Wittgenstein said “My propositions serve as elucidations in the following way: anyone who understands me eventually recognizes them as nonsensical, when he has used them—as steps—to climb beyond them. (He must, so to speak, throw away the ladder after he has climbed up it.) He must transcend these propositions, and then he will see the world aright.”

 

I’m interested in the social fictions we have created in South Africa since the fall of the Apartheid. The rainbow nation is an obvious example of a fiction we created in order to pursue a particular sense of social stability/certainty. That social certainty was built around notions of reconciliation, that we can hold different colours (historical-political agendas) together in a curved unity like a rainbow. That unity was challenged by the simultaneous idea of two-economies: South Africa as a country with two nations, one white and rich and the other black and poor, a dichotomy. To some extent the story of Madiba’s rainbow nation has been sufficiently discredited to consider it a collapsed certainty, we can’t rely on it, so we have new competing fictions emerging – the idea of economic freedom fighters, the second transition etc. These are ways of describing our current predicaments that both collapse and define social certainties, some better than others. I think fictions and certainties kind of run in circuits, complicated loops, they all need each other, but they can be short-circuited and collapsed.

 

Untitled, Johannesburg, 2012

Untitled, Johannesburg, 2012

Writing the city, Johannesburg, 2013

Writing the city, Johannesburg, 2013

 

Through distorting archival notions of memory, reprogramming mythologies and fragmenting superstitions – how do you endeavour to map a history, write a present and trace a future?

 

By collecting every bit of data that has ever existed, writing an algorithm to recombine the data in different arrangements, and projecting simulations of these combinations in real time. With or without a computer.

 

I think the future, the present and the past are really the same thing. The conceptual distinction is about trying to extract new perspectives on a problem. In this way superstition, archive, mythology, the academy, memory and prediction are all means to grapple with and articulate a present-crisis.

 

Land:Transitions is a textual mural consisting of about 30 000 written words and a performance intervention examining the historical, symbolic and personal meaning of South African land. What sort of research did you conduct in order to create this work, and what were your findings?

 

I spent a month researching the recorded history of conflicts over land in South Africa. I determined a rough timeline and collected as many academic papers, books, articles on the period as I could (academically referenceable material). I then looked for other works related to land, conflict and dispossession, these included poems, political manifestos, oral histories, letters, reports, songs, lists etc. I also found basic geological history of the formation of the physical earth that constitutes South Africa.

 

The work was not about presenting findings, in the sense of a conclusive report, but rather presenting the entirety of my research without narrative, as a fragmented collection of everything I could find, the intention was to allow people to explore the texts through the inconclusivity and contradiction of the various sources, and to suggest, within the overload of information, the sense that there is still information always-missing, the silenced voices which haunt any sense of South African landscape.

 

Land:Transitions

Land:Transitions

 

 

Using manipulated found cardboard and crates, you created a site specific art installation at the Ussher Fort (a slave fort and colonial prison in Accra, Ghana) called Memory and Speculation. Tell us more about this work, and the aspect of collaboration it entailed.

 

This work was about coming to terms with Accra, a city that for me, holds a mystical-mythical status as the capital of the first free sub-Saharan African nation. As a prototype of anti-colonial triumph and colonial revenge. But Accra is also a real place, with a real lived history and a real lived present. So the work was about trying to hold these two divergent aspects together. Like a dream and a waking.

 

The work was made for Chale Wote, a festival in Jamestown, Accra. The installation was abandoned during the opening with 6 pieces of white chalk placed on a black table in the entrance. There were no instructions to guide, encourage or prohibit visitors. During the open period visitors added their own texts and marks, consisting of various drawings, names and scratches.

 

Memory and Speculation

Memory and Speculation

 

At the end of the day the installation was basically destroyed, the collage was ripped off the walls and lying on the floor, things were in general disarray with chalk scratches of lovers names, swear words, drawings of penises and guns on the wall. But ultimately that was the nature of the work, the idealised/imaginary politically sacred Accra meeting the everyday energy of a working city.

 

The resultant work was then presented as collaborative composition of disparate voices, unreliable perspectives and incompatible notions of archival and historical space. I made a video afterwards to try process the experience.

 

 

You’re also engaged in an ongoing collaboration with performance art ensemble The Brother Moves On which, so far, has consisted of live installations, performances, illustrations, an album cover as well as poster and conceptual design. Specifically looking at the album cover for A New Myth, how did you go about visually interpreting their music?

 

The work was an elaboration on an idea we had come up with for the ETA ep. ETA was a triple faced cosmonaut waiting for the arrival, of what? The work was always a move to escape the mining, city/rural narrative of Mr Gold (an important earlier character in The Brother Moves On canon). A New Myth was trying to expand on the image of the man from outside this space, waiting. The album itself is a kind of moving on, I see it, musically, as folding different places into itself, like a telephone switchboard, or a taxi rank. So in the imagery I had this idea of a map of the universe, the known heavens, as essential to finding new coordinates, the dissolution of masculinity (The Brother) the doubling and tripling of aspects, trying to find/create/assert a new place to address, be addressed and address from.

 

The Brother Moves On, A New Myth

The Brother Moves On, A New Myth

The Brother Moves On, ETA ep

The Brother Moves On, ETA ep

The Brother Burns the Bullion

The Brother Burns the Bullion

 

This year you were part of the Goodman Gallery’s annual group show, [Working Title] 2014. What new works of yours were exhibited?

 

Two working drawings and a site mural looking at fire as a minor character in the drama of (South) African history. This is part of a larger programme of research into civil burnings and tracing this fire in the creative/destructive process of always-becoming (South) African.

 

The Affluent Luxury of Forgetting

The Affluent Luxury of Forgetting

Territory Sans Memoir

Territory Sans Memoir

Some historical notes on the keeping of fire

Some historical notes on the keeping of fire

Some historical notes on the keeping of fire (detail)

Some historical notes on the keeping of fire (detail)

 

What are you currently looking at, reading, watching and/or listening to?

 

Looking at: www.tabitarezaire.com / www.pacestationlive.nasa.gov / www.thepublicarchive.com

Reading: Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood and Trouble on Triton by Sam R. Delaney.

Watching: 28Up South Africa and Salo by Pier Paolo Pasolini.

Listening to: Tricky by Blowback, King Krule’s 6 Feet Beneath the Moon and Neo Hlasko.

 

And finally, where to from here?

 

Attending corner loving, some research at the Wits Palaeontology Archive, thinking about fire. Refusing Afro-futurism.

 

www.nolanoswalddennis.withtank.com

 

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#NowPlaying: ‘Boogie’, a Halloween playlist by Amber Smith http://10and5.com/2014/10/30/nowplaying-amber-smith/ http://10and5.com/2014/10/30/nowplaying-amber-smith/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:00:40 +0000 http://10and5.com/?p=90722

Illustrator and artist Amber Smith is putting the BOO in Boogie with a Halloween-themed #NowPlaying, and it's terrifyingly good.

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#NowPlaying: 'Boogie' by Amber Smith

 

What a treat! Illustrator and designer Amber Smith is putting the BOO in Boogie with a Halloween-themed #NowPlaying today, and it’s terrifyingly good.

 

Her playlist includes the classic I Put A Spell On You by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, The Black Keys’ Howlin’ For You, Bloodshake by Peace, My Body’s a Zombie For You by Dead Man’s Bones (the rock duo of Ryan Gosling and Zach Shields, if you’re into that sorta thing) and it ends on a high note with Le Tigre’s I’m So Excited.

 

For more from Amber find her on Behance, Twitter and Instagram.

Also, check out some work from her latest illustration show Back to the Future.

 

Boogie by Amber Smith from between10and5 on 8tracks Radio.

 

#NowPlaying: 'Boogie' by Amber Smith

 

More #NowPlaying:

10and5.com/series/nowplaying
8tracks.com/between10and5

 

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Social Contract’s Poster Picks // October http://10and5.com/2014/10/30/social-contracts-poster-picks-october/ http://10and5.com/2014/10/30/social-contracts-poster-picks-october/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 08:42:42 +0000 http://10and5.com/?p=90728

Here's your monthly poster fix! Enjoy the work and keep going to gigs.

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Social Contract splash logo

 

Here’s your monthly poster fix!

 

It really is a pity we don’t see as many new poster designers around as we would love to, but we can be sure of the fact that posters still have their place in the music scene. As long as bands and DJs keep playing, venues keep supporting the industry and you guys keep going to the gigs supporting the artists we will have bright and beautiful work to exhibit.

 

This month we feature posters by Ben Rausch, Adam Hill, Simeon van den Bergh, Simon Berndt, Chris Slabber, Justin Poulter, Ian Jepson, Cam Lofstrand, Dustin van Wyk and RiBot, Bruno Morphet and BadeNoir.

 

Enjoy the work and keep going to gigs.

 

Posters curated by Social Contract. Follow us @Social_Contract

 

Ben Rausch for Johnny Foreigner (Tour)

Ben Rausch for Johnny Foreigner (Tour)

Adam Hill for Coal at Straight No Chaser

Adam Hill for Coal at Straight No Chaser

Simeon Van Den Bergh for The Ballistics and The Coast

Simeon Van Den Bergh for The Ballistics and The Coast

Simon Berndt for Short & Sweet Music Video Awards

Simon Berndt for Short & Sweet Music Video Awards

Chris Slabber for We Set Sail

Chris Slabber for We Set Sail

Justin Poulter for The Assembly

Justin Poulter for The Assembly

Ian Jepson for The Dyna Jets and The Gumbo Ya-Ya's

Ian Jepson for The Dyna Jets and The Gumbo Ya-Ya’s

Cam Lofstrand for Summer of Noise

Cam Lofstrand for Summer of Noise

Dustin Van Wyk and RiBot for GaryThomas

Dustin Van Wyk and RiBot for GaryThomas

Bruno Morphet for ToyToy October

Bruno Morphet for ToyToy October

BadeNoir for Prime Circle

BadeNoir for Prime Circle

 

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Out of Office: Molten Toffee http://10and5.com/2014/10/30/out-of-office-molten-toffee/ http://10and5.com/2014/10/30/out-of-office-molten-toffee/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 08:25:45 +0000 http://10and5.com/?p=90681

Molten Toffee is the newest coffee spot on Kloof Street owned and run by Robbi Gorelick and Cian van der Vyver, and your newest office away from the office.

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Molten Toffee

 

Even though they only opened last week, a feature on Molten Toffee is long overdue. The newest addition to Kloof Street’s coffee strip is owned and run by Robbi Gorelick and Cian van der Vyver, who worked together at another spot just up the road when they decided to spread their wings and open their very own coffee shop. The name Molten Toffee is borrowed from the Cockney rhyming slang meaning ‘coffee’ and yes (we know you’re wondering) they do have toffee and yes they will add the toffee to your coffee. It’s a beautiful, welcoming and intimate space – which is exactly what they were aiming for. Robbi and Cian say the idea has always been for this to be part office and part home, a permanent third hangout space for their customers. Leon Morland designed the look and feel of the space and the branding and identity was done by Christina Labuschagne. The brass counter, the lampshades, the square tables and the button stool are by Tim Church from Church Original Products. Also acting as a gallery of sorts, artworks by Windows.03 (Black Koki x Ello Xray Eyez x Jean de Wet) are currently on display and for sale.

 

Molten Toffee serves Deluxe coffee, fresh juices and a variety of fresh pastries; check the deli fridge and the blackboard to see what the flavour of the day is. They may or may not expand their menu and they may or may not open a bar, so watch this space.

 

Find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and stop by at 45b Kloof Street, Cape Town from Monday to Saturday, 9am – 5pm.

 

Molten Toffee

Molten Toffee

Molten Toffee

Molten Toffee

Molten Toffee

Molten Toffee

 

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15 Self-Published Zines and Indie Publications from South Africa http://10and5.com/2014/10/29/15-self-published-zines-and-indie-publications-from-south-africa/ http://10and5.com/2014/10/29/15-self-published-zines-and-indie-publications-from-south-africa/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 11:53:45 +0000 http://10and5.com/?p=90401

For the love of print, we've compiled a list of 15 indie publications and hand made zines celebrating local creativity.

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The digital vs. print debate is an ongoing one and while we’re not about to pick sides (we do publish a daily website, after all) there is no denying the magic of print. Being able to interact with words or pictures by physically holding them is a completely different experience to viewing things on a screen. And, as much as things on the digital front continue to develop at a staggering pace, the steady popularity of a more DIY approach to print provides the reassuring proof that it is by no means obsolete. For the love of print, we’ve compiled a list of 15 self-published zines and indie publications which – artworks in their own right – celebrate local creativity.

 

Zines, books and comics by Jean de Wet

 

Lunar Fog

Lunar Fog

 

Jean de Wet is an artist, illustrator and a mighty fine zine/comic/book-maker. Inspired by nature and the “general strangeness of the universe and its fabrications”, the whimsical world of Jean’s drawings is populated with abandoned houses, hybrid creatures, monsters, swamps, melting mountains and gadgets used for telecommunication. At the end of each year he compiles a zine called Lunar Fog (the same name given to his fantastic tumblr) which is a personal anthology of sorts featuring previously unseen comics and drawings. A small booklet, Emperors of Space, contains drawings in black risograph ink on assorted blue and pink sugar-paper. Currently Jean is working on part 2 of a 3 part series called Snake in the Well which will be available to purchase soon through his online store.

 

Lunar Fog

Lunar Fog

Emperers of Space

Emperors of Space

Emperors of Space

Emperors of Space

Snake in the Well, part 1

Snake in the Well, part 1

Snake in the Well, part 1

Snake in the Well, part 1

 

www.jeandewet.com

 

 

Prufrock

 

Prufrock

 

The driving force behind Prufrock – a literary magazine started by Helen Sullivan (editor) and James King (creative director) just over a year ago – was to bring together, in one place, all of the pieces of South African writing that needed to be read. The magazine’s name is borrowed from the title character of the T.S. Eliot poem depicting a young, self-conscious writer who is very likeable and very human. All of the pieces are intended to be short enough to be read in one sitting (the time it takes to slowly drink a cup of coffee) and the selected submissions include short stories, poetry, non-fiction and photographs.

 

In the most recent issue of Prufrock, Simone Haysom rolls with the police in Khayelitsha, looking at vigilante violence and the problems with our police, while Liam Kruger meditates on running, writing and the open skies of the Highveld. Rosa Lyster contributed a troubling new essay, “The Flowers of the Revolution” – a must-read. There’s also a bombastic erotic fiction from Wamuwi Mbao and Nozizwe Herero, and poetry from new-old hand Eugenia Keke, veteran Douglas Reid Skinner, and the Caine-nominated Efemia Chela. Prufrock can be bought from selected stockists all around SA, or purchased online here.

 

Prufrock magazine

Prufrock

Prufrock (5)

Prufrock (6)

Prufrock (8)

 

Read how Prufrock originally came to be, and find out about their bolder, darker (but still charming!) new look for Volume 2.

 

www.prufrock.co.za

 

 

Tow Aways

 

Tow Aways - Boys Edition (1)

 

It was last year that Illana Welman (better known to some as Lani Spice) became interested in photo zines and was inspired by creatives who were “going at it on their own” and independent publishing groups celebrating the beauty and life of print. Finding herself surrounded by plenty of talented artists she wanted to do something collaborative and so Tow Aways, a film photography zine, was born.

 

The first edition was launched in June and features the photographs of 13 South African artists including Black Koki, Ello Xray Eyez, John Second, Melissa Williams, Danielle Clough, Laura Windvogel and Andrew Turpin. The latest zine is Tow Aways: Boys Edition featuring Justin Poulter, Kent Andreasen and Thoman Pepler – 3 local male artists who share their world through analog photography. Each with a different approach, the edition is a beautiful collection of images and will be officially launched at Clarkes / The Pit for RVCA First Thursdays in December. Next, Illana plans to put together a girls edition with a similar focus.

 

Tow Aways - Boys Edition (2)

Tow Aways - Boys Edition (5)

Tow Aways - Boys Edition (8)

Tow Aways - Boys Edition (4)

Tow Aways - Boys Edition (3)

 

Read an interview with Illana about Tow Aways.

 

www.lanispice.tumblr.com

 

 

Assorted zines by Lady Skollie

 

Kaapstad Kinsey

Kaapstad Kinsey

 

Laura Windvogel, aka Lady Skollie, is well-known as a stylist, film photographer and artist. She paints what she calls “slightly offensive watercolors”, which explore sexuality, and how people react to the depiction thereof. Last year she launched her first ever sex ‘zine called Kaapstad Kinsey and for this, she asked readers of her blog/friends/strangers 5 prying questions about their past sexual experiences, which she then interpreted visually. Her other zines include Ex Etiquette: a breakdown of breakups and I Once Dated: a retrospective of relationships.

 

Kaapstad Kinsey

Kaapstad Kinsey

Ex Etiquette

Ex Etiquette

Ex Etiquette

Ex Etiquette

I Once Dated

I Once Dated

I Once Dated

I Once Dated

 

www.ladyskollie.tumblr.com

 

 

Bikini Shark by Hugh Upsher

 

Bikini Shark

 

The Bikini Shark zine is sexy and dangerous in the same way a stampeding horse is, or a pissed up divorcee or, even, a shark wearing a bikini. With two volumes out so far and another to follow early next year, the project is Fine Art graduate Hugh Upsher‘s first foray into print and serves as a vehicle for him to deliver his “warped observational ideas to the public.” The zines each consist of thirty hand scripted pages which, apart from exploring the fine art of toilet humour, cover a wide set of themes including music, marketing, politics, notsalgia and sports. Bikini Shark is currently stocked at Clarke’s Book Shop (Long Street) and Clarke’s Diner & Bar (Bree Street) in Cape Town.

 

Bikini Shark by Hugh Upsher (1)

Bikini Shark by Hugh Upsher (2)

Bikini Shark by Hugh Upsher (4)

Bikini Shark by Hugh Upsher (3)

Bikini Shark by Hugh Upsher (5)

 

www.hughupsher.tumblr.com

 

 

Jungle Jim

 

Issue-23-Cover-Colour-563x800

 

Jungle Jim is a bi-monthly illustrated pulp fiction magazine showcasing imagination-driven, genre-inspired stories by African writers – founded in 2011 by award-winning director and writer Jenna Bass and illustrator and graphic designer Hannes Bernard. The duo describe it as bizarre, provocative, thrilling and extreme and they seek stories that explore the collision between the visceral darling of pulp and the reality of living in Africa. Jungle Jim is a exploration not only of fantastic fiction, but of the boundaries of cultural mash-ups and cheap, creative DIY publishing. The magazine is distributed internationally in print and digital formats, promoting new stories and pictures from across the continent and diaspora. Find Jungle Jim at The Book Lounge, Clarke’s Books and Blank Books in Cape Town or online on Amazon Kindle from next week.

 

Jungle Jim (5)

jjim3

Jungle Jim (1)

Jungle Jim (2)

Jungle Jim (3)

 

Read an interview with Jenna and Hannes as part of our 2014 Young South Africa series.

 

www.junglejim.org

 

 

aerodrome/JOURNAL

 

aerodrome JOURNAL (1)

 

AERODROME celebrates words and people: the people who write them, the people who edit them, the people who read them. They do so by publishing interviews, reviews, extracts and original creative writing online and, since September, in print as well.

 

The first issue of the aerodrome/JOURNAL showcases their favourite pieces published on the site during its first year, as well as some fresh content that hasn’t been featured yet. In this edition you can expect to find feature interviews with travel writer Paul Theroux, novelist Damon Galgut and poet and literary agent Isobel Dixon. There are also interviews in which Zapiro and novelist Zoe Wicomb talk about their working lives, artist Judith Mason​ discusses her reading habits and Laurence Hamburger discusses his book of newspaper posters called “Frozen Chicken Train Wreck”. On the fiction and poetry side of things the contributors include Tendai Huchu, Nick Mulgrew, Faith Chaza and Megan Ross. And finally, there are plenty of book reviews encompassing everything from OCD and Cape Malay cooking to Zimbabwean fiction and eco-poetry.

 

aerodrome/JOURNAL is stocked at Fourthwall Books (where a launch event is being held on 1 November) and Love Books in Joburg, and stores such as Clarke’s and The Book Lounge​ in Cape Town. A total of 300 copies have been printed and a few of these are available to purchase from AERODROME directly. You can find out more about stockists and how to order here.

 

aerodrome JOURNAL (1)

aerodrome JOURNAL (2)

Linocut dust jacket by Morné Visagie

aerodrome JOURNAL 12-13

aerodrome JOURNAL 38-39

aerodrome JOURNAL 56-57

 

aerodrome.co.za/journal

 

 

Happy Circle: smart peddlers by Atang Tshikare

 

Atang Tshikare

 

Happy Circle: smart peddlars is a zine by artist and designer Atang Tshikare, who recently hosted a zine workshop as part of Alphabet Zoo’s Johannesburg Street event. Atang’s ‘alternative cycling manual’ is filled with illustrations of imaginary bicycles – one that’s unusually tall, one optimized for delivering ice cream – and each drawing is paired with a short description or story.

 

Atang Tshikare (2)

Atang Tshikare (3)

Atang Tshikare (5)

Atang Tshikare (4)

Atang Tshikare (7)

 

www.zabalazaa.com

 

 

The Lake magazine

 

The Lake (1)

 

Headed up by Stefan Naude, The Lake magazine is a bi-monthly publication that launched in August. Looking at South African creatives and what they do, The Lake aims to create popular culture rather than follow it. Going forward, the magazine will function as a platform for the multiple talents – young and old – across the cultural facbric of our diverse society.

 

The first edition titled The Office Smells Like Ink features interviews with Sannie Fox, Lorcan White, Gavin Morgan and Nic Grobler and showcases Lani Spice, Golden Animals and Ian Engelbrecht. The editorial content includes photography, vinyl reviews and investigative journalism. Their manifesto reads: “The time is at hand. The time is now. Let new ideas (as incomprehensible as they seem) take precedence over all for the future is a time for drastic change. Those not willing to strive for the new will be lost with the old.”

 

The Lake Magazine (1)

The Lake Magazine (2)

The Lake Magazine (3)

The Lake Magazine (4)

The Lake Magazine (5)

 

www.thelake.co

 

 

Graflit, “Urban Interiors”

 

Graflit, cover by Hanno van Zyl (1)

Cover by Hanno van Zyl

 

Graflit is a collaborative enterprise, consisting of both a contemporary graphic literature publication and a closely linked exhibition/comic arts event – each aiming to promote local comic artists and develop a greater sense of comic art and appreciation in the mind of the South African public. Following the success of last year’s launch, the 2014 instalment holds the title of “Urban Interiors” and was compiled with the city of Cape Town as its theme.

 

The Graflit team consists of SA comic guru Andy Mason, artist Keda Gomes, illustrator Jean de Wet (who printed the interior pages of the anthology on his Risograph printing machine) and graphic novelist Su Opperman. A total of 100 copies in black & white only were made, containing approximately 20 self-standing graphic narratives from local artists like Gerhard Human, Ben Winfield, Theodore Key and featuring cover art by Hanno van Zyl. The coinciding exhibition was held at the Youngblood Gallery in September.

 

Gerard Human

Gerhard Human

Jean de Wet

Jean de Wet

Ben Winfield

Ben Winfield

Theodore Key

Theodore Key

Cover by Hanno van Zyl

Cover by Hanno van Zyl

 

www.graflit2014.wordpress.com

 

 

Coping with Dumb by Martin Mezzabotta

 

Coping with Dumb by Martin Mezzabotta (1)

 

Aside from having a ridiculously fun-to-say surname, we don’t know much about Martin Mezzabotta other than these facts: he studied film and media at UCT, regularly comments on evolution, he draws very well and, he’s more than proficient in the art of zine-making. Case in point is Coping with Dumb, a 20 page black and white ‘lowbrow parody’ zine with a 3-colour hand printed cover. The zine includes the business secrets of the Pharoahs, plans for a working fartorium, a rap song written at the age of 16 and a set of trump cards featuring pageant moms.

 

Coping with Dumb by Martin Mezzabotta (4)

Coping with Dumb by Martin Mezzabotta (3)

Coping with Dumb by Martin Mezzabotta (6)

Coping With Dumb by Martin Mezzabotta (3)

Coping with Dumb by Martin Mezzabotta (5)

 

www.flickr.com/martinmezzabotta

 

 

Artwolfe

 

ARTWOLFE zine (1)

 

Artwolfe is a self-published zine about art and performing arts in Namibia. It was born out of a desire to create something inclusive, something that would allow people to air their views on the crazy, cantankerous, young and confusing art scene in Namibia. It’s a pretty striking view and, with very little being done to document it, Artwolfe is stepping in to fill this gap. Each black and white printed issue contains reviews, articles, pictures, features and interviews – co-ordinated by a small team of 4, who are currently split between Namibia and SA. They are: Helen (who does the layout), Nicky (who handles everything online), Katie (who proofreads and corresponds) and Rob (who writes and encourages – they call it “Robitism”).

 

As the Artwolfe team have backgrounds in different disciplines themselves, the zine covers visual art as well as all forms of performance to highlight the variety that exists in Namibia’s local art scene. “Artwolfe is a collaboration,” they say. “It exists only because multiple parties want it to. Writers want to write, readers want to read, and we want to make zines and get them out to people. We get a thrill from the thrill people get when they realise they’ve been published – yes, appearing in Artwolfe counts as being published. We also get a thrill from the criticisms and compliments we receive on a daily basis, because they let us know that we’re causing some kind of stir.”

 

Artwolfe is sold all over Windhoek for 5 Namibian Dollars and will soon be available in Cape Town, or you can read the articles online.

 

ARTWOLFE zine (2)

ARTWOLFE zine (5)

ARTWOLFE zine (4)

ARTWOLFE zine (6)

 

www.artwolfezine.wordpress.com

 

 

Bat Butt & Eurovision 78

 

Bat Butt - Shaun Hill (1)

 

With its first issue brought together by Shaun Hill, Candice Bondi, Jarryd Kin, Daniel McCauley and Jesse Coetsee it’s unlikely that Bat Butt & Eurovision 78 could have been anything but awesome. The 30 page, A6 zine is filled with comics and illustrations and though issue 1 is now out of stock the second issue, which is halloween themed, will be out soon. Keep an eye on Bat Butt and Eurovision 78 on Instagram for sneak peeks and updates.

 

Bat Butt - Shaun Hill (3)

Bat Butt - Shaun Hill (4)

Bat Butt - Shaun Hill (5)

Bat Butt - Shaun Hill (6)

Bat Butt - Shaun Hill (7)

 

batbutt78.wix.com/eurovision

 

 

ijusi magazine

 

Issue 29, The Mandela Issue

Issue 29, The Mandela Issue

 

In 1995 Garth Walker published the first issue of the experimental design magazine ijusi – a passion project in the truest sense which aims to encourage and promote a visual design language rooted in our own South African experience. From its onset ijusi showcased a burgeoning South African visual culture, which has come to be recognised for its quality and diversity worldwide. Each issue since has contributed to the ongoing discourse surrounding representation and identity in South Africa, specifically within the context of Graphic Design, Illustration, Typography, Writing, and Photography. Despite having a print-run in the low hundreds, ijusi has attained something of a cult status and has a worldwide following.

 

A few highlights over the years include Issue #6 (V8 Power), which was created in Garth’s mind while doing a workshop with Milton Glaser in New York. Another, Issue #11 (Typografika 1), won a Grand Prix at the Loeries and of it Jury Chair Brain Webb remarked, “I came to South Africa to see something I’ve not seen before. And this is it.” Issue #24 (South African Stories) published stories by local writers and designers. Issue #29 (The Mandela Issue) is the latest and pays tribute to our nation’s iconic hero. Snippets from each issue can be viewed online here.

 

In 2010 ijusi magazine formed an ongoing collaboration with Rooke Gallery, launching the limited edition ijusi Portfolio which are comrpised of 10 printed lithographs comprised of key works by selected artists featured in the magazine.

 

Issue 1 - Afrocentric Design Adventure

Issue 1, Afrocentric Design Adventure

Issue 13, Komix

Issue 13, Komix

Issue 24, South African Stories

Issue 24, South African Stories

Issue 25, The Ballpoint Pen Issue

Issue 25, The Ballpoint Pen Issue

ijusi Portfolio

ijusi Portfolio

 

Read an interview with Garth Walker about founding Africa’s first experimental design magazine, ijusi.

 

www.ijusi.com

 

 

Alphabet Zoo

 

Alphabet Zoo (1)

 

This list wouldn’t be complete without Alphabet Zoo – a grassroots, Jozi-rooted street culture zine which began in 2010 and is run by traditional printmakers Minenkulu Ngoyi, Isaac Zavale, Zwelethu Macepha and Thami Mbenekazi. The project invites collaboration from talented young artists, illustrators, publishers and designers through regular events like Make More Zines and most recently, Johannesburg Street at the Goethe Institute which included an exhibition, silk screen and illustration workshops and zine reviews.

 

Alphabet Zoo (4)

Alphabet Zoo (2)

Alphabet Zoo (6)

Alphabet Zoo (7)

Alphabet Zoo (5)

 

www.facebook.com/AlphabetZ00

 

 

More List Wednesdays, over here!

 

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The White Folks | A Mock-Reality Web Series in the Suburbs http://10and5.com/2014/10/29/the-white-folks-a-mock-reality-web-series-in-the-suburbs/ http://10and5.com/2014/10/29/the-white-folks-a-mock-reality-web-series-in-the-suburbs/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 10:00:18 +0000 http://10and5.com/?p=90525

  The White Folks is a mock-reality web series that follows the lives of two middle class families from Plattekloof in Cape Town, a suburban utopia with security gates, 4x4s and mundane life problems. Using over-the-top stereotypes and satire to […]

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Click here to view the embedded video.

 

The White Folks is a mock-reality web series that follows the lives of two middle class families from Plattekloof in Cape Town, a suburban utopia with security gates, 4x4s and mundane life problems. Using over-the-top stereotypes and satire to poke fun at the disconnected lives of the upwardly mobile, affluent and self-involved suburban South Africans, the writers and co-directors Mia Cilliers and Lisa Lane Drennan say it was never meant to be mean-spirited. Rather they explain that, “we thought it was refreshing to laugh at ourselves and look critically at South African white culture, especially in the suburbs.” The leisurely suburban lifestyle stands in stark contrast to the very real problems a large percentage of South Africans face on a daily basis and while The White Folks is poking fun at these so-called “problems”, this web series makes a rather serious commentary on the South African socio-political circumstances through which Mia and Lisa hope to open up a dialogue about middle-class life and the role of domestic workers within the context of suburban privilege.

 

We caught up with Mia and Lisa to chat about the inspiration behind the storyline and characters and what they hope to communicate through The White Folks.

 

What inspired this web series?

 

We (Mia Cilliers and Lisa Lane Drennan) originally came up with the concept for The White Folks after joking around about the typical habits of white people close to us: family, neighbours, friends and co-workers. In fact, a lot of the dialogue is actually quoted directly from bizarre statements we’ve heard coming from people’s mouths! We would also laugh at funny anecdotes that our black friends would tell us about their encounters with white folks, and use these as inspiration for our script. It was never meant to be mean-spirited, but we thought it was refreshing to laugh at ourselves and look critically at South African white culture, especially in the suburbs.

 

We realised we might have something there and decided to write a script under the umbrella of our production company, Small Epics Productions. As the script developed, we realised the show is not about white people and their lives as such, but actually more about middle class people as a whole and the “problems” they have to deal with. We use quotations for problems because in South Africa, as so many poor and disenfranchised people face very real struggles on a daily basis, middle class people could be perceived to live a relatively easy life in comparison.

 

We decided on the Internet as a platform and to create web series specifically for several reasons. We were attracted by the fact that we could retain total creative control and could reach a wide online audience (including an international one) by doing things independently. This meant we could push boundaries with somewhat more controversial and non-PC content, thereby looking critically at the whitewashed streets of Mzansi. Filming the series was truly a labour of love for all involved because we had no budget and self-funded the entire project.

 

Please introduce the team behind White Folks. Who does what to make this web series come together?

 

We (Lisa and Mia) met each other at UCT while doing our Masters in film and media studies and always knew that we wanted to work together. The White Folks came along at the perfect time so we sat down and wrote the script together and decided to co-direct. Through the university we had come into contact with many talented students and managed to rally some of them together to help us film The White Folks, using UCT’s equipment. We planned to film everything over only two days as time was tight and we had no budget. We directed, while students James Honiball, Colleen Knox and Stephen Horn did the camera work; Robyn Knox handled the sound; Sinawo Siwisa was our runner and Joshua Smuts was our very abled assistant director. Ashleigh da Silva organized her house as a location and stood in as art director.

 

We actually wrote most of the parts with certain actors in mind. Luckily, they all liked the concept and came onboard. Some were professional and well established actors like Pierre Malherbe, Leon Clingman and Roeline Daneel. We saw Schalk Bezuidenhout in another student production, and loved him so much that we always promised we would one day write a part especially for him. We had worked on UCT film productions with Arnold Leibrandt, Sandiswa Tshefu and Luvuyo Nibe and immediately knew that they would be perfect for the parts of Arnold, Nandipha and Linda. Lisa used to parody the Chantelle character’s voice and mannerisms during late, wine-filled nights. Thus the character of Chantelle was born and Mia insisted that Lisa play the part. Lisa, a rather reluctant actress, said that she would only do if Mia played the part of Nicolette. And so real life #besties become online #besties. Lastly we came across Desmond Bowles who was a brilliant and intuitive editor, as he immediately understood our vision and was instrumental in developing the narrative in the way that we envisaged.

 

After filming we had no idea of the immense effort it would take to market the show online. Since the show is only on YouTube and Daily Motion it is essential for our viewers to share the series and help spread it. It has been difficult because we only really have social media as a promotional tool. Ashleigh da Silva has been invaluable in helping us promote The White Folks but it has been a long, laborious process with lots of experimenting with different strategies (e.g. creating active Facebook profiles for our characters to engage with viewers).

 

Tell us about the characters. 

 

Click here to view the embedded video.

 

The White Folks follows the lives of two families from Plattekloof in Cape Town, a suburban utopia with security gates, 4x4s and mundane life problems.

 

The White family

 

The White family and their neighbours, the Roos family live in the Rainbow Nation, yet refuse to eat Rainbow Chicken (because it is so not #freerange or Tim Noakes approved). Instead they only shop at Woolies and think the Seychelles is a fancy place to go on holiday. But throw in their friend Carien and her new black boyfriend, Linda, and things get a little more interesting. Nandipha, the Whites’ domestic superstar, is always around with her level-headedness and frank observations about their behavior. Chantelle White (Lisa Lane Drennan), is the matriarch of the White household. She got married just out of school, had her son soon after and has since embraced the lifestyle of the upwardly-mobile housewife. Wayne (Pierre Malherbe) is Chantelle’s long-suffering husband. He owns his own construction company, works hard in the week and likes nothing more to relax with a beer, a braai and a rugby game on the weekend. Chantelle is often not very connected to what is going on with the rest of South Africa and thus struggles to demonstrate empathy, especially towards her domestic worker, Nandipha (Sandiswa Tsefu).

 

Nandipha

 

 

Nands, on the other hand, is frank, levelheaded and contrasts the Whites’ often ridiculous behaviour and habit of complaining. They have a son, Arnold (Arnold Leibrandt), who is a wannabe DJ in the making. He may come across as slightly spoilt and entitled, this is simply because he is used to his mother and domestic worker doing everything for him, as many kids in the suburbs are accustomed to.

 

The Roos family

 

Their neighbours, the Roos family, recently moved in next door in their Tuscan housing estate. Ferdi (Leon Clingman) is married to his much younger second wife, Nicolette and has a teenage son, Mauritz (Schalk Bezuidenhout), from his previous marriage. Ferdi is good-natured, hardworking and decent, and comes across as a typical Afrikaans South African male. Nicolette and Chantelle have become #besties. They spend a lot of time together yet bond over very superficial things. Nicolette quit her job as a successful lawyer when she met Ferdi to settle down, although she has now realised that she is not entirely content with just being a housewife. Mauritz has a very tumultuous relationship with his stepmother and blames her for his parents’ divorce. He is popular at school although he is known to be a bit of a braggart and exaggerator. He feels pressurised by his father’s intense expectations of him and would rather like to be left alone to do his own thing.

 

Click here to view the embedded video.

 

Carien and Linda

 

Carien (Roeline Daneel), is Nicolette’s lawyer friend from her days at Stellenbosch University. She is quite progressive in her thinking and has been dating Linda (Luvuyo Nibe) for six months and they are starting to get serious.

 

What is it that you hope to communicate through this series? 

 

More often than not us white people live in suburban enclaves and there is a real disconnect with what is happening in the rest of South Africa. This is not a criticism of white behaviour, merely an observation, as we are both from the suburbs ourselves. We wanted to use exaggerated stereotypes to open up a dialogue about middle-class life that is often punted as the status quo and never really criticised or examined. The point is simply that unless we as white South Africans remove ourselves from our guilt-ridden emotional complicity to the past, we will never be able to cast a critical eye on ourselves. We have attempted to add to this dialogue in a humorous, light-hearted manner. What we want to be specifically critical of and bring attention to, however, is the role of domestic workers within the context of suburban privilege. A lot of domestic workers that we have talked to have expressed that their working conditions are sometimes far from ideal.

 

What has the response been like so far?

 

We have had an overwhelmingly positive response to the series from fans and the media. We also find that some of our biggest fans are not white, perhaps because they can enjoy it from an outsider’s perspective, or perhaps because they see their own middle class selves depicted in the characters.

 

Most people seem to appreciate the tongue-in-cheek element and the fact that we are using over-the-top stereotypes and satire to poke fun at the disconnected lives of suburban South Africans. People do need a measure of self-reflexivity to enjoy the show and so far the response has been great. However, we also find some people often struggle to look at themselves critically and think our portrayal is unrealistic and unfair. Some have felt that we are simply perpetuating obsolete stereotypes and dredging up the past. For your average middle class white South African, we find the content is either too close to home and therefore not funny, or people really appreciate the subtle humour and social commentary of the show.

 

We have found that South Africa is quite a hard sell in terms of web series. It is often a struggle to get people to view your series and in the same way it takes a village to raise a child, it really takes a community to make a web series successful! Luckily, we have some diehard fans who are very enthusiastic about the show some of whom have become very emotionally involved and want to see it succeed.

 

What we would love more than anything is to develop the show into a full TV series now that we have established the characters. Fresh material keeps coming in abundance: just today a family friend said that he reverses into parking spaces to make a quick exit just so that he doesn’t have to pay the car guard! South Africa is such a melting pot of cultures and diversity, our wish is to make a series whereby we laugh with each other and appreciate our funny idiosyncrasies, rather than laugh at other races at their expense.

 

Watch Season 1.

Watch Season 2.

 

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Soweto Rising | An Interview with Filmmakers Noxolo Mafu and Lilian Magari http://10and5.com/2014/10/29/soweto-rising-an-interview-with-filmmakers-noxolo-mafu-and-lilian-magari/ http://10and5.com/2014/10/29/soweto-rising-an-interview-with-filmmakers-noxolo-mafu-and-lilian-magari/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 09:07:37 +0000 http://10and5.com/?p=90619

Made by Noxolo Mafu and Lilian Magari, Soweto Rising succeeds in providing an authentic and insightful look at a community that has been a birth place for political activism, trendsetting and cultural phenomena.

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Filmmakers Noxolo Mafu and Lilian Magari study together in Grahamstown, but it’s an area further north that caught their interest for their debut documentary. Described as ‘a dialogue on street culture in Johannesburg’ Soweto Rising succeeds in providing an authentic and insightful look at a community that has been a birth place for political activism, trendsetting and cultural phenomena. Through the words of Soweto’s own Wandile Zondo (co-founder of the clothing concept store, Thesis), Mkay Frash (Hunting For Kicks, Boyz n Bucks) and Izikhothane members such as Don Dada, among others, the film tracks the influence of Soweto as a former “township” space on the pulse of contemporary street culture in Johannesburg.

 

We interviewed Noxolo and Lilian about their reasons for making Soweto Rising, how they went about doing just that, and what the response has been like.

 

What was your motivation behind making ‘Soweto Rising’?

 

The idea behind Soweto Rising started from an interest we both had in exploring the izikhothane culture in Johannesburg and looking at how this phenomenon has developed years after it broke on mainstream media. We soon realised, that there was a lack of insightful content available which tracks contemporary street culture let alone township culture. This became our driving force behind uncovering the narrative of the street style in a cohesive fresh way. As students who study in Grahamstown yet live in Cape Town and Tanzania respectively, we were taken by the energy in Johannesburg and wanted to capture that energy in the work we created. So we thought it time that people hear stories of the city space from who are actually making it happen every single day their lives.

 

What were your hopes for the documentary and were they realised?

 

Our intention to a large extent was to provide a film which sparks dialogue around street culture and the ever changing Johannesburg aesthetic. What we had hoped was that this film would stand as a body of work which contextualises the impact of a space like Soweto which was formally associated with poverty and violence and rather reposition it as a hub of creativity. So far, the response we have received has been overwhelmingly incredible wherein people have really enjoyed the authentic portrayal of Soweto which makes us feel like we have at least done half of the job right.

 

What stories did you want to tell?

 

We wanted to tell the stories of young creatives across the scene who are taking ownership of their histories in Soweto and repurposing them in a way that echoes the rhythms and senses of the Johannesburg city. We really wanted to showcase an array of experiences in the city from your sneakerheads such as Mkay Frash and juxtapose that with the izikhothane experience from characters such as Don Dada and King Mosha. We wanted it to reflect the complexities that exist in the city and the influences that make those complexities possible.

 

How did you select who to interview?

 

It’s incredible how these things happen! We had taken a collaborative approach to the making of this film and in our research we made links with great people like Jess Jorgenen and Anthea Poulos who really helped us get in contact with some of our characters. Sometimes it was just a matter of advanced journalistic stalking skills or a casual cuppa at Father in Braamfontein which led to the mix of people interviewed. In the editing process it came down to the five characters that we chose as we thought their voices did well to track the narrative of Soweto without the help of narration which was particularly important for us.

 

How long did the film take to make?

 

We spent two very busy weeks in Johannesburg and since then we had about a month to put it all together. Our time was very limited due to the time constraints we have as final year TV students so we really tried to push our experience to the limit while we were in the city.

 

What were some of the challenges making it?

 

As we mentioned we were unable to spend a very long time in Johannesburg , so that was a challenge in itself. As a film maker you really want to saturate yourself in your work for a very long time and we really had to streamline our focus due to the limited time we had to film. Because we were putting together a 24 minute film, but had so much content it became really difficult deciding what it is we keep and what we leave out. But, having to make those choices really helped us come up with a succinct piece of work.

 

What did you learn in the process – about Soweto, South African youth, documentary-making or yourselves?

 

Lilian: Being able to document this story allowed for a shift away from the fascination with the one-dimensional stories associated with township discourse. This film helped me understand how fashion (and music to a certain extent) has been used in Soweto in order for the emergence of pride and ownership of the space. Moreover Soweto Rising taught me how valuable it is for Africans to tell their own stories about Africa.

 

Noxolo: This whole experience has been invaluable for me as an artist as I came to realise what an exciting time it is for us as South Africans and global citizens. There are so many platforms for people to collaborate and use their context as a source of inspiration in making refreshing content. I feel like collaboration was the key in drawing everyone’s experience to make richer more insightful content for our viewers and I feel like this process showed the goodness in adopting that approach. More than anything though this whole experience just taught me that risk can yield some of the most rewarding results, I mean this started as a passion project which has taken on a life of its own, which is incredible to witness.

 

What are your personal relationships to Soweto?

 

Noxolo: Although I grew up in Cape Town, I have always had family in Soweto which I would visit every now and then. However what stuck with me was that the experience of the ‘township’ was never quite the same in Soweto as it was in Gugulethu for instance. This sparked an interest in me as I really wanted to understand how similar spaces could provide such a different experience for its people.

 

Lilian: As someone who is not from the country, even though I grew up with glimpses of the emergence of Sowetan youth culture (eg: listening to Boom Shaka, Arthur Mafokate etc.) these elements weren’t my initial associations with the space. Soweto culture carries a unique history and the making of this film allowed me the opportunity to understand this in more depth.

 

What has the response to the film been like so far?

 

AMAZING! It’s been so unreal for the both of us. The fact that we have been featured on blogs that we turn to for inspiration is something we cannot even put into words. We had the chance to screen it for its debut at Rhodes University and to hear first-hand how a film like this makes people feel; excited about the city and South Africa as a whole.

 

What are you working on next?

 

We are working on just wrapping things up here in Grahamstown and soon we would like to expand on similar concepts to Soweto Rising in different parts of the country and continent. For now though, we are looking to see how far we can take Soweto Rising in terms of getting more people interested in South African street culture.

 

twitter.com/nox_mafu

twitter.com/LilMagari

 

Soweto Rising Isikhotane Soweto Rising Isikhotane Thesis Instant Grass Boyz n Bucks

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Featured: Michele Mathison | Exploring double meaning through sculpture http://10and5.com/2014/10/29/featured-michele-mathison-exploring-double-meaning-through-sculpture/ http://10and5.com/2014/10/29/featured-michele-mathison-exploring-double-meaning-through-sculpture/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 07:30:14 +0000 http://10and5.com/?p=90317

Drawing inspiration from places like hardware stores, markets and the side of the road, artist Michele Mathison explores the double meanings in the mundane.

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Michele Mathison

 

Living between Zimbabwe and South Africa, artist Michele Mathison draws inspiration from everyday objects found in places like hardware stores, markets and on the side of the road. Michele finds it interesting that people can regard the same object in very different ways and his current show at WHATIFTHEWORLD Gallery in Cape Town explores exactly that – double meanings. Using mundane objects like spades, picking axes and shopping trolleys, he considers how each material has its own language, history and power. The physical process behind creating these sculptures mirrors the nature of the materials used, which is what inspired this exhibition. “I wanted to look at a very base level of earning a living in Southern Africa and the different perceptions of that kind of work,” he says. We spoke to Michele to find out more about his work, the process behind it and his current solo show.

 

Tell us about your background. When did you become interested in pursuing art full-time and how did you go about making this a reality?

 

Growing up in Zimbabwe I was exposed to a wealth of arts and craft. These were the years shortly after independence and the country was full of optimism and creativity. Zimbabwe has a deep tradition of art; there is a stone carving on the national flag and a proud heritage of painting and stone sculpture. Some of this influence has been largely transformed into producing curio art but nearly everyone understands the connection between art and life, body and spirit.

 

From there it was an interesting journey through art school at UCT then working in film and television, making sandwiches, furniture and eventually back to creating my own work again. It took some time to negotiate the challenges of becoming a self-sufficient artist and it is still an ongoing commitment.

 

What does your choice of medium and your aesthetic suggest about you, personally and as an artist? 

 

I work in a variety of mediums. I like to consider how each material has its own language, history and power. I suppose that means I try to get under the surface of things and situations. I identify with objects and what they come to represent just as we are representations of our histories and beliefs. My aesthetic is built from my surroundings and what I see. I find a narrative in these materials that gives voice to my ideas. Naturally, I think my aesthetic is very African because this is where I come from.

 

Much of your work removes utility from functional objects, often using found, everyday things in your work. What inspired you to explore this? 

 

The narrative I work to create is a representation of time and place. I find that people and places can regard the same object in very different ways. I am interested in these double and multiple meanings because they allow me to present different sides to the story without necessarily stating my intention or point of view.

 

As a sculptor you can also manipulate the material in different ways with different outcomes. Arranging the objects in different ways forms different narratives. Cause and effect, offence and defence, power and struggle.

 

Please take us through your process.

 

Working and manipulating different mediums lets me engage with all aspects of those mediums. In a sense my research comes from sourcing and examining where these objects and materials come from and how they are used. This in turn exposes the world in which they exist and informs the meaning of the work. I don’t necessarily intend for the work to be labour intensive but for this recent exhibition, titled Manual, I wanted my working method to mirror the physicality of using the chosen materials.

 

Tell us about the inspiration behind Manual, your solo exhibition currently showing at Whatiftheworld.

 

I wanted to look at a very base level of earning a living in Southern Africa and the different perceptions of that kind of work. Especially in times of turmoil and transition, it is essential for survival. There are so many associations with this kind of hard work and it remains a constant struggle to find dignity in it, especially in the developing world. The irony, of course, is that we all rely on the fruits of manual labour for our day-to-day existence, even though many of us strive to distance ourselves from that toil.

 

Which other forms of creativity are you drawn to and how does it find its way into your artworks?

 

I find that I am attracted to artisanal trades. I find beauty in craftsmanship and construction in occupations such as carpentry, metalwork and construction. I respect the precision and skill of the people who design and manufacture the world around us. This plays a major role on my work because I am seduced by the form and function of the objects I use. Once again, the ability to make things by hand becomes a major part of the work I make.

 

Alternating between working in South Africa and working in Zimbabwe, how do you experience the creative energies in these two places?

 

The creative energies are very similar; we share the same social and political concerns. The difference is that there is obviously a lot more infrastructure and support in South Africa. Zimbabweans are grappling to maintain their cultural heritage but this struggle gives them a great sense of accomplishment when they succeed in producing something creative. There is also more and more cross over between the two countries because of the massive migration of Zimbabweans into South Africa. This is something that is still relatively taboo to discuss and yet you will find a skilled Zimbabwean working in almost any major industry or business in South Africa. It is only natural that artists will also travel across the border and this includes me. I hear about the same amount of Shona on the streets of Joburg and Cape Town as I do Zulu or Xhosa.

 

Where do you look to for inspiration?

 

Hardware stores, markets and roadsides. Places where people work, eat and live. Where there is life.

 

What are you working on at the moment?

 

I am gathering material for a new body of work as well as completing various commissions. I am also collaborating with a writer in Harare for a sound and video installation.

 

What’s next for you?

 

I will keep working on my studio practice and continue to be involved in various public art projects around the country. I will also be facilitating some creative workshops with art students in Zimbabwe.

 

See more of Michele’s work on his website.

 

Visit his current exhibition, Manual, at WHATIFTHEWORLD at 1 Argyle Street (Corner of Argyle and Albert Road) in Woodstock, Cape Town. On show until 15 November 2014.

 

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South African Struggle Heroes | A Poster Series by MUTI http://10and5.com/2014/10/28/south-african-struggle-heroes-a-poster-series-by-muti/ http://10and5.com/2014/10/28/south-african-struggle-heroes-a-poster-series-by-muti/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 12:00:57 +0000 http://10and5.com/?p=90351

MUTI has produced a new series of illustrated posters inspired by the look of classic Bollywood movie posters but telling the stories of South African struggle icons Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Steve Biko.

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Muti

 

The team at MUTI has produced a new series of illustrated posters inspired by the look of classic Bollywood movie posters but telling the stories of South African struggle heroes Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Steve Biko. They let us know more about how the idea came to them and was executed:

 

“Brad and Clint went on a trip to Sri Lanka in December 2013 and on their travels came across a store selling vintage Bollywood posters.  They were really taken by the use of bold typography and illustrated characters. Upon returning they shared their enthusiasm with the studio and we conceptualised a series of illustrations inspired by the posters.

 

We wanted to use a South African context to make the posters resonate with a local audience but it was important not to lose the Indian roots of the genre. Our country’s political history has in many ways played out like a movie so we took the opportunity to capture three iconic figures in a dramatic Bollywood style. Our intention was not to make a political statement but rather to portray these individuals in our history with a fresh and intriguing twist.”

 

The Mandela illustration was included in the latest issue of iJusi, curated by Garth Walker.

 

More from MUTI.

 

Nelson Mandela Struggle Heroes Oliver Tambo Struggle Heroes Steve Biko Struggle Heroes

 

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