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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Partnership between Fourthwall Books and Jacana Media announced

Fourthwall Books is delighted to announce that as of 1 May 2018, we have become an associate imprint of Jacana Media, an independent publisher based in Johannesburg. Jacana has made an important contribution to South African publishing though their wide range of fiction and non-fiction books, and we look forward to a productive partnership going forward!

Our independent publishing programme will continue to be managed by co-directors Bronwyn Law-Viljoen and Terry Kurgan, and as South Africa’s premier art book imprint, we will persist with our mission to publish visual books that are out of the ordinary, provocative, experimental, well-designed, interesting to read and pleasing to hold and look at.

Since our establishment in 2010, we have published 38 books and won several prestigious awards: the 2010 Jane Jacobs Best Urban Book Award (New York) for Writing the City into Being; the 2011 Antalis Book Design Award for Fire Walker; the 2015 Jan Rabie Rapport Prize for Non-Fiction for Nagmusiek; the 2015 Kyknet Rapport Prize for Fiction for Nagmusiek; and the 2016 Eugene Marais prize for Nagmusiek. Hanging on a Wire was the joint winner of the 2018 NIHSS award for non-fiction.


- To order our books in South Africa please contact:

- You can order our books internationally from Idea Books here.

- Our full catalogue can still be viewed on our website.

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The Wild Fluffalump: a bedtime story which delivers an important message about extinction

A muddy baby elephant goes to sleep under a tall Cottonseed tree, where the leopard’s child has been bouncing all night.

It wakes up as a giant white fluffy ball and doesn’t recognise itself.

The animals come one by one and pull and lick and tug, trying to figure out what it is.

The battle being fought by admirable souls to keep elephants from extinction is steady but slow. A change in mind set is perhaps needed in the formative years, when cuddly bears and koalas and penguins and seal-pups rate high on the Hug-o-meter.

Now what if children from Africa to China could learn to see rhinos and elephants as wonderful animals to cuddle and to feel protective towards for a lifetime …

Also available in Afrikaans, isiXhosa & isiZulu.

Bruce Hobson writes as Mwenye Hadithi (meaning ‘story teller’ in Swahili). Born in Nairobi, Bruce grew in a house with a wild garden, visited by gazelles and porcupines and warthogs. A crocodile once went to sleep by the ironing board, and a hippopotamus got stuck in the back gate. As a child he kept tarantula-like spiders as pets and at school they were often confronted by baboons on the hockey field. From there he went to Rugby School in England, and studied foreign literature at London University. This inspired him to write, stirred by those traditional oral stories from Africa where the foibles of village characters, thinly disguised as animals, would lead to a moral lesson.

However, publishers weren’t keen on stories where hyenas had their bottoms sewn up in order to eat a lot, so in the best tradition of storytellers the world over, he borrowed bits from the old stories and wove them in with fresh threads of humour and his own motifs, and the Hadithi series’ Greedy Zebra was published in 1984.

Adrienne Kennaway grew up all over the world, but spent most of her formative life in Kenya, where an interest in wildlife soon turned to art, especially painting animals. Ealing Tech in London and L’Academie Bella Arte in Rome honed her skill and she became notably successful with her vivid watercolour illustrations for Mwenye Hadithi’s African folktale series. She has illustrated over 30 children’s books and her illustrations for Hadithi’s Crafty Chameleon won the Kate Greenaway Prize. Adrienne now enjoys spending time in the Irish countryside, capturing the local wildlife on canvas.

Book details

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Announcing the shortlist for the 2016 Gerald Kraak Award for African writers and artists

The Jacana Literary Foundation and The Other Foundation have announced the African writers and artists shortlisted for the inaugural Gerald Kraak Award.

Drawn from a range of African countries, these written and photographic pieces on the topics of gender, human rights and sexuality on our continent represent a new wave of fresh storytelling.

The shortlist will comprise the resultant anthology, titled Pride and Prejudice, which will be published and distributed by Jacana Media and its project partners across Africa in May 2017.

Judges Sisonke Msimang (chair), Eusebius McKaiser and Sylvia Tamale reviewed close on 400 anonymous individual entries over the past four months in order to select the 14 pieces for the shortlist.

Msimang says:

In the current political environment, we are hopeful that expressions like the ones we have chosen – that do not shy away from pain but that are also deeply inventive – find their way into the public consciousness. We think Gerald Kraak would have smiled at a number of these entries, and above all, we have aimed to stay true to his love of fearless writing and support of courageous and grounded activism.

In alphabetical order by surname, here are the shortlisted authors and entries, and short judges’ notes:

  • Poached Eggs by Farah Ahamed (Fiction, Kenya)

A subtle, slow and careful rendering of the everyday rhythms of domestic terror that pays homage to the long history of women’s resistance; yet with wit and humour and grit, the story also sings of freedom, of resistance and the desire to be unbound.

  • A Place of Greater Safety by Beyers de Vos (Journalism, South Africa)

Covers, with empathy and real curiosity and knowledge, underground issues that are seldom discussed in the South African LGBT+ movement – homelessness, poverty, as well as attraction and violence.

  • Midnight in Lusikisiki or The Ruin of the Gentlewomen by Sindiswa Busuku-Mathese (Poetry, South Africa)

This poem hums with sadness and sings with anger. It is full of the sort of melancholy that marks the passing of something very important. It provides an opportunity to connect the themes of gender this collection takes so seriously, with issues of poverty and political corruption.

  • Two Weddings for Amoit by Dilman Dila (Fiction, Uganda)

A fresh piece of sci-fi, written in a clear and bright way, that surprisingly draws on covert and subversive love.

  • Albus by Justin Dingwall (Photography, South Africa)

The choice of exquisitely beautiful high-fashion models to represent people with albinism – who are so often depicted as unattractive, as others – is just breath-taking. It makes its point and leaves you wanting more.

  • For Men Who Care by Amatesiro Dore (Fiction, Nigeria)

A complex and thoughtful insight into a part of elite Nigerian life, as well as the ways in which buying into certain brands of patriarchy can be so deeply damaging – and have direct and unavoidable consequences.

  • Resurrection by Tania Haberland (Poetry, Mauritius)

An erotic poem that is powerful in its simple celebration of the clit.

  • Intertwined Odyssey by Julia Hango (Photography, South Africa)

A solid and thought-provoking collection. The range of poses force questions about power. The photos make the lovers (or are they fighters?) equal in their nakedness and in their embodiment of discomfort.

  • Dean’s Bed by Dean Hutton (Photography, South Africa)

An important contribution to conversations about bisexuality, attraction, age and race.

  • On Coming Out by Lee Mokobe (Poetry, South Africa)

Literal and lyrical, this powerful poem draws one in through its style and accessibility.

  • You Sing of a Longing by Otosirieze Obi-Young (Fiction, Nigeria)

A thoroughly modern epic but with bones as old as time. This is a story of love and betrayal and madness and music that is all the more beautiful for its plainspoken poignancy. Yet there is prose in here that steals your breath away.

  • The Conversation by Olakunle Ologunro (Fiction, Nigeria)

Provides valuable insight into issues of intimate partner violence, family acceptance and the complexity of gender roles in many modern African contexts.

  • One More Nation Bound in Freedom by Ayodele Sogunro (Academic, Nigeria)

An informative piece that gives a crisp and “objective” voice to the many themes that cut across this anthology.

  • Stranger in a Familiar Land by Sarah Waiswa (Photography, Kenya)

This collection of photos showcases the best of African storytelling. The images take risks, and speak to danger and subversion. At the same time they are deeply rooted in places that are familiar to urban Africans. The woman in this collection is a stand-in for all of us.

The winner, who receives a cash prize, will be announced at an award ceremony in May 2017, hosted by The Other Foundation and attended by the authors of the top three submissions as well as the judging panel and project partners.

For more information visit or email

This project is made possible in partnership with The Other Foundation:


Related news:

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Gerald Kraak Award and Anthology – Call for publishing partners

From Jacana:

The Jacana Literary Foundation (JLF) and Jacana Media are thrilled to announce the establishment of the annual Gerald Kraak Award and Anthology, made possible in partnership with The Other Foundation and through the generous funding of Atlantic Philanthropies, a limited life foundation.


Created in honour of the late activist Gerald Kraak’s extraordinary legacy of supporting human rights, this award will advance his contribution to building a South Africa that is safe and welcoming to all. The unique and vital anthology will feature English language writing and photography from and about Africa. Exceptional works which explore, interrogate and celebrate the topics of gender, sexuality and human rights will be shortlisted, and given a voice through publication.

Gerald Kraak (1956-2014) was a passionate champion of social justice, an anti-apartheid activist and the head of the Atlantic Philanthropies’ Reconciliation and Human Rights Programme in South Africa. He authored two books, including the European Union Literary Award-winning exploration of South African politics, Ice in the Lungs (Jacana, 2005), and directed a documentary on gay conscripts in the apartheid army. He will be remembered for being kind and generous, delightfully irreverent and deeply committed to realising an equal and just society for all.

Rather than general discussions of these subjects, pieces which engage with gender and sexuality in ways that promote new understandings of and insights into human rights on our continent will be sought. A cash prize is awarded to the author of the winning piece.

Gender, sexuality and human rights are under threat across Africa. The more they are threatened, the more important it is for us to help share ideas which promote equal rights for all. Because the contributions will be received from Africa, it is essential for them to be spread throughout Africa. We hope that brave, like-minded publishers will join us in this endeavour.

We want to make the publishing process as simple and affordable as possible. Our idea would be to supply committed publishers based in countries across Africa with print-ready files of the anthology in early 2017, to enable them to publish and sell the book in their country of operation. There would be no production costs or content creation responsibilities to be borne by them.

We would want involvement from all in the naming of the award and anthology and call for submissions in February 2016.

If you as a publisher share these aims, we’d love you to talk to us and tell us more about yourselves.

Please email by 10 February, 2016 to express your interest.

About The Jacana Literary Foundation

The Jacana Literary Foundation (JLF) is a not-for-profit organisation which seeks to promote and foster writing excellence from South and southern Africa through a number of initiatives. By securing funding for key projects, the JLF aims to publish literature that might not otherwise see publication for purely commercial reasons.

This allows the JLF’s publishing partner, Jacana Media, to produce literature which supports the concept of bibliodiversity. We believe that it is through the reading and writing of local creative works that the truths of our lives are best told.

About The Other Foundation

The Other Foundation is an African Trust that gathers support for those who are working to protect and advance the rights, wellbeing and social inclusion of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities – and gives support in a smart way that helps groups to work better for lasting change. To learn more, please visit:

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Moira Forjaz: Mozambique 1975/1985 – A Photographic Essay of Life-changing Historical Moments and Intimate Portraits

Joe Slovo

Moira ForjazJacana Media is proud to present Moira Forjaz: Mozambique 1975/1985 – a collection of forgotten photographs of Mozambique’s history:

Moira’s photographs feature striking episodes of colonial history, including the anti-apartheid struggle, the battle for Zimbabwe and the national reconstruction in Mozambique. But what makes this book truly remarkable is that it brings a personal note to historical episodes, adding humour and a human touch.

Of particular note are the series on Ilha de Moçambique, miners and cotton, and also the images of Samora Machel addressing a rally. There are touching photographs of Ruth First, Joe Slovo and Graça Machel.

“There is a photograph of Moira’s that I look at daily and sometimes even hourly. It hangs on the wall of my study opposite my desk. If I need to think, if I’m having trouble framing a word or a sentence or even trying to work out what I really want to say, I look up from my computer and I am drawn to that image.

It’s a photograph of Ruth First, smiling with the light in her hair: the last photograph ever taken of her. Even after all these years since my mother’s death, every time I look at the photo, I remember her as she could be then: full of light and full of life. How wonderful to know that this is how she was hours before they killed her.”Gillian Slovo

Many of the photographs in this book have been printed for the first time as they always existed as negatives, kept in a shoebox, forgotten, until now.

View a few of the images on Flickr:

Moira Forjaz


Book details

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Anton Kannemeyer vertel wat hy wil bereik met satiriese kuns (Video)

Pappa in DoubtAnton Kannemeyer het onlangs met kykNET se aktualiteitsprogram Flits gesels oor sy jongste kunsuitstalling, E is for Exhibition.

Kannemeyer, wie se jongste publikasie Pappa in Doubt vroeër vanjaar by Jacana verskyn het, gesels openlik oor sy werk, inspirasie en die drama wat dikwels met sy satires gepaard gaan. Hy vertel ook meer oor die strokiesprent oor Nelson Mandela en deel sy persoonlike Madiba-verhaal. Oor wat hy met satiriese kuns wil bereik, sê Kannemeyer:

“Ek voel ek moet doen die werk wat ek doen. Ek wil graag die reg hê om te sê wat ek wil sê, ek word deur die konstitusie beskerm om dit te doen. As satirikus maak ek die werk, ek sit die werk daar uit.

“Mense het hul opinies, ek dink hulle het hul absolute reg op opinies – as hulle dink dis verskriklik dan is dit hulle reg, as hulle dink dis wonderlik dan is dit hulle reg en as hulle wil praat daaroor is ek baie bly want dit is wat ek wil bereik met satiriese kuns. Ek wil hê mense móét praat daaroor.”

Kyk na die video:

YouTube Preview Image

Lees ook:


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Anton Kannemeyer’s Pappa in Doubt: The Contradictions and Paradoxes of Life in the Postcolony

Pappa in DoubtJacana Media is proud to present the latest book from Anton Kannemeyer, Pappa in Doubt:

With Pappa in Doubt, Kannemeyer returns to the fertile land that he explored to brilliant satiric effect in Pappa in Afrika (2010).

Once again parodying Herge’s Tintin in the Congo (1931), Kannemeyer exposes the contradictions and paradoxes of life in the postcolony. The artist is as provocative as he is playful, and does not spare himself the relentless, humorous scrutiny to which he subjects politicians, despots and his neighbours in the leafy suburbs.

In addition to drawings, paintings and prints, the book features extended comics in which Kannemeyer traces the dawning of his political consciousness as a young white Afrikaans-speaking South African, whose life is entwined with the joys and realities of Africa. His comics and other singular images also confront and reflect on the racism embedded in language and the physical and mental violence ingrained in the deeply divided society in which he lives.

About the author

Anton Kannemeyer, aka Joe Dog, was born in 1967 and lives in Cape Town. He is co-editor with Conrad Botes of the satirical Bitterkomix series, founded in 1992. Kannemeyer has exhibited at various art museums in Johannesburg, Cape Town, New York, Eindhoven, Antwerp, and San Francisco. His previous publications include The Big Bad Bitterkomix Handbook, Bitterkomix Annual (2008), Pappa in Afrika (2010), Alphabet of Democracy (2010) and The Erotic Drawings of Anton Kannemeyer (2014).

Book details

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Join Graeme Williams for the Launch and Exhibition of A City Refracted at the Irma Stern Museum

Invitation to the launch of A City Refracted

A City RefractedJacana Media is proud to invite you to the launch of the winner of the Ernest Cole Award, A City Refracted by Graeme Williams.

Williams will speak about his experimental style of street photography as captured in the book on Saturday, 1 August, at the UCT Irma Stern Museum. The event will start at 11 AM.

The photography exhibition will also open on Saturday and will run until Saturday, 22 August.

Dr Max Price, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town, will open the proceedings.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

  • Date: Saturday, 1 August 2015
  • Time: 11 AM
  • Venue: UCT Irma Stern Museum
    Cecil Road
    Cape Town | Map
  • Opening speech: Max Price
  • RSVP:021 685 5686

Book Details

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New: A City Refracted by Graeme Williams, Winner of the Ernest Cole Award (Foreword by Leon de Kock)

A City RefractedA City Refracted, by Graeme Williams, is the third book to be published as part of the Ernest Cole Award, which is managed by the University of Cape Town Libraries

A City Refracted is the winner of the 2013 Ernest Cole Award.

With a foreword by Leon de Kock.

Johannesburg is a unique city. It is made up of separate communities that differ greatly in terms of wealth, education, race and cultural background. The city is a stark reflection of the country’s social polarisation and in many ways refutes the dream of a rainbow nation. For example, many residents living in the suburbs of Johannesburg have not ventured into the inner city since the mid-1990s and vice versa. The title reflects both the lack of racial integration within the city as well as the photographic approach.

Author’s note:

Johannesburg’s inner city has, since the mining town’s formation, served as the first stop for new arrivals. As such it has always been vibrant and in a constant state of flux. I initially started photographing the area in the nineties when racial segregation laws were being lifted and black South Africans had begun moving from the outlying townships to the city. A monograph of my black-and-white images from that period, The Inner City, was published by Ravan Press in 2000. The essay documents the period in which the city shifted from a whites-only precinct to a vibrant mixed-race area. It was the first South African urban area to suggest the possible realisation of Nelson Mandela’s dream for an integrated society.

During the past two decades, simultaneous to white people vacating the inner city, increasingly the area has become home to new immigrants from all over Africa. Certain districts and blocks of flats are now dominated by Nigerians, Ghanaians and Somalis. Much of the physical infrastructure from the apart-heid era remains. However, the new occupants have adapted the structures to their way of life and culture.

Johannesburg is a unique city. It is made up of separate communities that differ greatly in terms of wealth, education, race and cultural background. The city is a stark reflection of the country’s social polarisation and in many ways refutes the dream of a rainbow nation. For example, many residents living in the suburbs of Johannesburg have not ventured into the inner city since the mid-1990s and vice versa.

The reason for returning my attention to this area is not just to document external changes. The city’s increasing social polarisations have resulted in me being an outsider in a neighbourhood that is less than 10 minutes’ drive from my home. This has allowed me to transform my engagement with the subject from the viewpoint of the local to that of the foreigner. It has become necessary for me to hire a bodyguard in order to pursue my photographic work freely in this area.

The title reflects both the lack of racial integration within the city as well as the photographic approach.

I too am an immigrant to Johannesburg, moving from Cape Town in the 80s. I was drawn by the edgy realism that mirrored the fast pace of social and political change that was taking place within the country at that time.

This body of work, A City Refracted, echoes my altered vision – both photographically as well as in my view of the country’s future.

Book details

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Roger Ballen’s Asylum of the Birds Featured in the Los Angeles Review of Books

Asylum of the BirdsRoger Ballen: Die AntwoordThe Los Angeles Review of Books has featured Roger Ballen as part of their Photographer Spotlight Series.

Ballen’s most recent project is Asylum of the Birds, published in South Africa by Jacana Media.

LARB interviewer Michael Kurcfeld says Ballen’s work contains the power of both Symbolist Art and Abstract Expressionism, that it captures “both madness and divinity at the same time” and that his photographs “are so resonant and fastidiously staged, they operate on a deep pre-rational level”.

Ballen says Asylum of the Birds is a “maturation of my use of drawing, sculpture, installation-making, painting … integrated through photography”, adding that the resultant images are more intricate than they appear: “You don’t realise how many thousands of steps are in each photograph. It all looks so simple and clear, but boy it’s difficult.”

Read the interview:

In his latest series, Asylum of the Birds, Ballen incorporates the inhabitants of a Johannesburg shelter for society’s castoffs — the homeless, the indigent, the mentally challenged, the schizophrenic. For many years he has explored such realms in South Africa, his adopted home. They are places not for the unwary or faint of heart — asylums of the marginal. He has had to gain their acceptance over time, until they freely enter his creative crosshairs. “I work with them in such a way that they benefit also, so it’s a two-way relationship. You have to win their trust, get to know them, and they have to get to like you. I’m like a father, a doctor, a priest, a lawyer, health-care worker, social worker. Some of my best friends live in the Asylum of the Birds.”

Book details

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