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Archive for September, 2009

Sue Williamson’s New South African Art Now Launched in Cape Town

South African Art NowSue WilliamsonBack in May 2006, when author, artist, ARTTHROB editor and academic Sue Williamson received an email asking whether she’d be interested in compiling a book about “the art of your ‘wonderful’ country”, she viewed it with quiet suspicion.

The sender was – as Williamson discovered via an online search – none other than Judith Regan, the publishing heavyweight whom Meryl Streep played in The Devil Wears Prada. Sue Williamson went to meet her in New York, with a portfolio of images – and an agent! The seed was planted and South African Art Now began unfurling towards publication.

“Then the bombshell fell,” said Williamson to a capacity audience filling every nook and cranny at The Book Lounge. Judith Regan was fired from HarperCollins over her plans for a book book by OJ Simpson.

Fortunately, Williamson’s agent kept representing the book because Regan’s finger on the pulse had given the project credibility. Her belief that South African art was growing in international awareness was spot on.

Williamson noted that the art market globally has been afflicted by the economonic downturn, with many galleries closing. She said she hoped that the book would help to stimulate the field.

A panel comprising Riason Naidoo, the Director of the SA National Gallery, Sean O’Toole, the Editor of Art South Africa, and Andrew Lamprecht, a Senior Lecturer in Art Discourse at Michaelis School for Fine Art, addressed a range of provocative issues, including the choice of artists represented in the book, the cover image by Mustafa Maluka, and the return of the 19th century tendency of South African photographers to eroticise and exoticise Africa for the global market, which is willing to pay for these “discoveries”.


Margrit & Annabelle Wienand, Donna Miles Kobie Geyer & Chantal Louw Sue Williamson signs JoAnne Jowell & Mica Curitz Malibongwe Tyilo & Renee Holleman Connor Cullinan & Janine Stephen Colin Richard, Penny Siopis & Annari Van der Merwe Jane McIlleron, Patrick Labrosse & Margrit Wienand Sean O'Toole, Sue Williamson, Andrew Lamprecht & Riason Naidoo Standing room only Zapiro The crowd filled up downstairs too Herman Lampen & Gerhard Greyvensteyn Anne Mager & Joel Krige Cara Snyman, Shelley & Roderick Gauld Vuyile Voyiya & Gabriel Clark-Brown Kathryn Smith, Barend de Wet & Roger van Wyk Veronica Blaine & Laurynas Bakas Rizano Snyders, Maya Viscardi-Carelse & Berni Searle Kate McCarter & Richard Boland Sean O'Toole & Riason Naidoo Ayanda Bangani & Lukhanyiso Bulembu Glen Moll & Rosemary de Waal Lionel Davis, Gavin Younge & Amanda Youngleson Dziunia & Krzyzstof Tanewski Brett Murray & Sue Williamson Anne Taylor & Norman Shenker Christine & Klaus Chaid Keith Stacey & Francis Bryan Jenny Kearney & Lee Botti Mongi Khumalo & Lerato Bereng Theron Burger, Bianca Baldi & Kathryn Smith Amanda Viitanen, Becca Wolfe & Angie Fraser Andrew Lamprecht & Neil Nieuwoudt

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Bryan Rostron on the Cars of Cabinet Ministers

Black PetalsThe Author, Bryan RostronBryan Rostron, author of Black Petals, launches a humorous tirade which takes us from Jeremy Cronin, who Rostron suspects might just drive an old clunker, to the BMW 750i of Blade Nzimande:

Ye who do not understand how Communist Cabinet ministers can “deploy” top-of-the-range luxury limos simply do not appreciate all- important neo-Marxist dialectics.

This, in a nutshell, is “representative redistribution”. That’s the eloquent term coined by Jeremy Cronin, deputy transport minister and deputy general secretary of the South African Communist Party. Comrade Cronin, being white and thus a serial deputy, is not sufficiently representative so probably drives an old hippy jalopy.

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Introducing Nadja Manghezi’s The Maputo Connection: ANC Life in the World of Frelimo

The Maputo Connection“Xenophobia has been growing for over a decade in South Africa, exploding in its most vicious form in recent years – and doing so against black foreigners in a country that is fighting racism. But worse, the victims are from neighbouring countries that, twenty years ago, gave up their own security, development and even lives to receive South Africans, victims of and fighters against apartheid. It angered me and provoked me to write this book.”

– Nadja Manghezi

The Maputo Connection is an intimate history of the relationship between the ANC and the peoples of Mozambique, a reflection on the personal sacrifices that accompanied their support of South African freedom fighters and a profound gesture of respect to the country that understood that without the liberation of South Africa there would be no liberation of southern Africa.

Based on interviews with more than forty people from the ANC community in Maputo in the 1970s and 1980s, the book is a vivid record of the period of the South African liberation struggle as experienced in Mozambique. It charts the shifts in the relationship between the South African and Mozambican liberation movements – the African National Congress (ANC) and Frelimo – through the direct testimonies of the people in Mozambique who either belonged to the ANC or where closely associated with the movement.

The authenticity of the interviews and the stories that emerge as a result build a three- dimensional picture of life as it was experienced, conveying what the events entailed and what they felt like for the people involved.

About the author

Nadja Manghezi lived in Mozambique in the early years of the country’s independence from Portugal. She and her husband Alpheus politically supported the new Mozambique, and participated in the exiled struggle of the ANC. She was part of the ANC Education Committee, and worked with the Women’s Section and the Cultural Group, while finding safe houses and cultivating links between potential hosts and underground activities.

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Discussions and Launches for Sue Williamson’s New South African Art Now

South African Art NowJacana Media brings you a series of events around highly acclaimed, astoundingly talented artist, Sue Williamson’s book South African Art Now, with a foreword from Nadine Gordimer and appreciation from Sir Elton John. There will be panel discussions, gallery launches and the like to be hosted both in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

To make sure that you don’t miss these events and a collection of the works of South Africa’s most ingenious artists, have a look at the whens, wheres and whos below:

Event Details: Panel Discussion at the Book Lounge

Event Details: Gallery Launch at the Goodman Gallery

  • Date: Saturday, 03 October 2009
  • Time: 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
  • Venue: The Goodman Gallery
    3rd Floor, Fairweather House
    176 Sir Lowry Road
    Between Lewin and Nelson Streets
    Woodstock, Cape Town | Map
  • RSVP: Thando Nkosi,, 011 628 3204

Event Details: EB Hyde Park Launch

Event Details: Boekehuis Saturday Voices Discussion

  • Date: Saturday, 10 October 2009
  • Time: 12:00 PM for 12:30 PM
  • Venue: Boekehuis
  • Guest speaker: Thembinkosi Goniwe, artist and lecturer at the Wits School of Arts
    Cnr. Lothbury and Fawley streets,
    Auckland Park
    Johannesburg | Map
  • RSVP:, 011 482 3609

About the book

This is the first survey book on this subject to be published primarily by a major international publishing house, and reflects the growing global interest in the dynamic art of this country.

South African Art Now covers the years 1968 to 2008 – from the period of the glory days of resistance art right up to the ever changing and compelling present, examining the art and artists against the background of a country struggling to achieve transformation. About 100 artists are represented in page after page of stunning visuals, from well established international art stars like William Kentridge, Marlene Dumas and Moshekwa Langa to the emerging generation of hot young artists like Nandipha Mntambo and Mikhael Subotzky.

Contributing essays have been written by international curator Okwui Enwezor, and director of New York’s PERFORMA Biennial, RoseLee Goldberg. Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer has written the foreword. International superstar and a major collector of contemporary photography, Elton John, has contributed an appreciation.

Beautifully designed, the book is essential for art lovers, researchers, libraries, and all those interested in contemporary culture.

About the author

Sue Williamson is a Cape Town, South Africa-based artist. She has participated in a number of international exhibitions and biennales, and her work can be seen throughout the USA on the travelling exhibitions “The Short Century: African Liberation 1945-1994″ and “Liberated Voices: Contemporary Art from South Africa”. Williamson also writes and lectures about art and is the founding editor of art website Artthrob.

Williamson’s first book, Resistance Art in South Africa (1989: David Philip Publishers, Cape Town, St Martin’s Press, USA and CIIR, UK) is regarded as the seminal text on that period, and was republished by Double Storey books in a second edition in 2004.

Book details

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Take an Africa Trek with Alexandre and Sonia Poussin

Africa TrekRelentless sun, wild animal attacks, crossing countries in crisis…

Three years, eleven countries, 1,200 families, 14,000 kilometers of adventures while walking in the footsteps of mankind through the Cradle of Life.

Remarkable French couple, Alexandre and Sonia Poussin, embarked on a rare and epic journey through Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Sea of Galilee entirely on foot. In a three-year trek along the Great Rift Valley of East Africa, their goal was to symbolically retrace the passage of early Man, from Australopithecus to Modern Man. Without sponsors, without a support team and sharing in the poverty of their hosts, the Poussins tell us of the enthusiastic generosity of their African counterparts as they partake in an unfamiliar, yet warmer way of life.

Africa Trek: In the Footsteps of Mankind, From the Cape of Good Hope to Mount Kilimanjaro traces the first leg of their journey, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes region.

“To say that reading Africa Trek is [an] inspirational story is an understatement. It is an experience, reminding us [of] the importance of slow travel to truly discover the essence of culture, environment and ourselves.”
– Anna, WEND Magazine

Book details

  • Africa Trek: In the Footsteps of Mankind, From the Cape of Good Hope to Mount Kilimanjaro by Alexandre Poussin, Sonia Poussin
    EAN: 9781770097179
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

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Book Launch: Shivas Dance by Elana Bregin

Shivas DanceElana BreginJacana and Adams Books are pleased to invite you to the launch of Elana Bregin’s new novel, Shiva’s Dance. The book will be introduced by Professor Michael Chapman, and special “mystery” guest, Durban’s celebrated football coach, Clive Barker.

“Say yes to the life you’ve been given. Say yes to the dance – the difficulty as well as the joy, the tragedy and the triumph. Because that is what living is.”

We look forward to seeing you there!

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 01 October 2009
  • Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM
  • Venue: Adams Books
    Musgrave Centre
    Musgrave Road
    Durban | Map
  • Guest Speakers: Michael Chapman, Clive Barker
  • RSVP: Adams Books,, 031 201 5123


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Zapiro, Madam & Eve and Don’t Joke: Your Yearly Dose of Cartoon Comedy from Jacana

Don't Mess with the President's HeadStrike While the Iron is HotDon't JokeComedy is King at Jacana with three hilarious new releases.

Don’t Mess with the President’s Head: Zapiro Annual 2009

Will this annual equal last year’s record of 5 weeks in a row at no.1 on the SA bestseller list?

“Zapiro’s cartoons pack a punch that lands in your solar plexus… rushes up to your intellect, and bounds back down to your funny bone in an instant.” – Annie Lennox

“One of the most brilliant political cartoonists in the world.” – John Pilger


Strike while the Iron is Hot: Madam & Eve 2009

Madam, Eve, Thandi and Mother Anderson are back to delight us with their antics this Christmas. With their dry outlook on daily events and politics, they never fail to elicit a laugh.


Don’t Joke: The Year in Cartoons

South Africa’s best cartoonists have joined forces to bring you a pungent potpourri of the year’s best political cartoons, covering all the catastrophes, conundrums, foibles and fantasies of a tumultuous twelve months.

It’s all here – the astonishing ascent of Jacob Zuma, Mbeki’s vanishing act, the Zuma showerhead and the rape of Justice, Malema’s mouth, Zille’s Botox, the global meltdown, the Obama miracle, the Gaza bombings, the Somali pirates, swine flu, Mugabe’s madness, Madiba’s 90th, the Dalai Lama’s no-show, Eskom excuses, the SABC’s collapse, Joost’s embarrassment, Niehaus’ humiliation, the last twitch of the Scorpions, the 2010 build-up, the Cope let-down, and much, much more.

Book details

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Ilse Ferreira Traces Italian Footprints in South Africa

Italian Footprints in South AfricaItalian Footprints in South Africa chronicles the history of the Italian people who have made South Africa their home, and the generations after them who are both Italian and South African.

Whether in the realms of food, motorsport, architecture, politics, art, music or wine, the influence Italian people and culture have had on South Africa is as vibrant as the people themselves. While the times and places they have found themselves have not always been easy, they have forged ahead with signature Italian warmth and enthusiasm.

A fascinating text and an impressive collection of photographs make this book an invaluable archive of the Italian contribution to South Africa, and offer a glimpse of a people known for their passion and love of life. The result is a unique record of the history of the Italian nation on South African soil.

The book is full colour, and text is both in English and Italian.

About the author

Ilse Ferreira is a freelance writer and publicist. She has been published in Succeed, Keur, Insig, De Kat, several medical journals, and the web magazine ScienceinAfrica. She also writes regular columns for the Mail & Guardian and for Business Day. Her work on the history of Italian and Portuguese people in South Africa was first published in Time magazine. This is her first full-length book.

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Three New Children’s Books from Jacana

The Missing BallBaby BaobabThe Tale of the Sun and MoonLiteracy levels in South Africa are far from what they need to be but, Jacana Media is doing it’s bit to help out with three delightful new children’s books:

The Missing Ball
Gaps and his cousin Sugarbean want to play a game of soccer before sundown – but their ball is missing and hidden somewhere in a wonderful African setting. The 4th story in the Cool Nguni series helps build children’s reading skills, while absorbing them in the lives of the imaginative characters.

Baby Baobab
Baby Baobab may be the tallest, greenest tree, but can he learn to share? This traditional tale explains why the Baobab Tree seems to grow upside down with its roots in the air. It has a cast of characters beautifully depicted in collage.

The Tale of the Sun and Moon
Discover how Sun came to live in the sky during the day, and Moon with her trail of stars came to live in the night-time sky. From award-winning author, Ann Walton, who won the prestigious Katrine Harries
Award in 2006. The magical illustrations of the antics of Leopard and Lion by Tamsin Hinrichsen will keep all children entranced.

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Andries Visagie oor distopie en Lauren Beukes se Moxyland

MoxylandLauren BeukesLauren Beukes se distopiese boek Moxyland beeld volgens Andries Visagie ‘n probleem uit wat die wêreld toenemend in die gesig staar – dat kuns en kultuur gekommodifiseer word.

In Moxyland, wat in 2018 afspeel, bestaan ‘n soort “ekonomiese apartheid” en ‘n groep aktiviste probeer weerstand bied teen die “gesiglose korporatiewe wêreld”.

Visagie maak in Rapport Boeke die interessante opmerking dat die uitbeelding van distopie deesdae gereeld in kuns en literatuur in Suid-Afrika en elders in die wêreld voorkom. Hy vergelyk Moxyland met die kunsoptrede van Steven Cohen, wat met skoene wat op menslike skedels gemonteer is, deur Wall Street loop.

Een van die sterkste debuutromans wat verlede jaar in Suid-Afrika verskyn het, is Lauren Beukes se Moxyland (Jacana), ’n roman waarin Kaapstad teen 2018 as ’n kapitalistiese hel, oftewel distopie, voorgestel word. Die literêre distopie, dit wil sê verhale wat deur uitsiglose en dikwels onderdrukkende ruimtes gekenmerk word en dus die teenbeeld van ’n utopie is, geniet tans aansienlike gewildheid in Suid-Afrika en ook elders in die wêreld. J.M. Coetzee se Disgrace, P.J. Haasbroek se Oemkontoe van die nasie, Eben Venter se Horrelpoot en meer onlangs selfs Louis Krüger se apokaliptiese roman Wederkoms is almal voorbeelde van teks-te wat ’n uitsiglose verhaalwêreld skets.

Dit wil verder voorkom asof die nagmerriewêreld van die distopie tans aan heelwat visuele kuns-tenaars ’n geskikte invalshoek bied om in hul werk op die Suid-Afrikaanse werklikheid te reageer. Die kurators Jacob Lebeko en Elfriede Dreyer het onlangs ’n indrukwekkende kunsuitstal- ling getiteld Dystopia uit die werke van ’n groot groep vooraanstaande kunstenaars saamgestel. Hierdie uitstalling word op die oomblik deur die land geneem en van 8 Oktober tot 10 November is Dystopiain Johannesburg se Museum Africa te sien.

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