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Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Invitation: Book and Toilet Launch: From a Place of Blackness

From a Place of Blackness Launch

Athi Mongezeleli Joja will be hosting a conversation between Aryan Kaganof and Andile Mngxitama on Sunday 17th November at 14h00, at Bolo’Bolo anarchist infoshop and coffee house, 76 Lower Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town.

Bring your own toilet.

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An Inconsolable Memory…

… is screening at V&A Waterfront, Saturday 15 June 8pm.

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First Ever Public Screening of SMS Sugarman in Cape Town

“Directing a feature film on a cell phone proved to be more than just a gimmick for Kaganof. The film looks spectacularly beautiful, much more so than one might assume, and the smallness of the camera, and the smallness of the camera lends an intimate air to what’s already an intimate plot: A pimp trying to keep his girls in check on Christmas Eve.”
- Mike Everleth, Bad Lit: The Journal of Underground Film

Please join us on Sunday, 12 August, 8:15pm at the Labia Theatre on Orange:

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SMS SUGAR MAN first public screening in Johannesburg

SMS Sugarman

Come watch SMS SUGARMAN, my feature-length film shot on cell phone cameras.

Date: Thursday, July 1, 2010
Time: 3:00pm – 5:30pm
Location: Museum Africa, Newtown

The screening takes place in the context of a broader discussion about alternative film production and distribution in South Africa. This discussion was organized by Paul Khaliso and starts at 10.30am in the same venue. More information here.

More info about the film here:

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Vandalizm @ the Zimology Institute


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Intuitive Strategies Against Architecture

Intuitive - Strategies Against Architecture

Collaborative works 2003 – 2009 by Michale Blake and Aryan Kaganof. Colloquium at SUN today. Still time to get to this – click the flyer for more.

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Brett Garner on the Franschhoek Literary Festival

Where to from here?

by Brett Garner

on the weekend of 15 to 17 may, franschhoek experienced two notable events: the first winter storms of 2009 and the third annual franschhoek literary festival. both are worth talking about and perhaps for the same reasons. they were both important events and they were both received with mixed feelings.

many positive reports about the literary festival have done the rounds and the organising committee deserve words of praise for their efforts. there were a number of highly acclaimed authors and publishers in the village, many of whom were happy to engage with their audiences and speak openly and honestly about their work, their views and their souls. i felt that the intimacy of the festival was heightened by the foreboding weather as we metaphorically ‘huddled together’ and got on with the business of the festival; which in the words of christopher hope, the festival director, was “to share [our] passions and prejudices.” local chefs reuben and neil jewell; favourite max du preez; entertaining tom eaton; lovely pippa green; the knowledgeable tim noakes; humble vikas swarup. my list is longer and i intend no disservice to those i have not mentioned here. i have no doubt that every panellist hosted by the flf committee did their bit to make for an entertaining and worthwhile event. the facilities were put to the test, with large numbers seeking entry to the events and shelter from the rain. a visit to drakenstein correctional services, the off the wall poetry (soon to be a regular in franschhoek); maid in franschhoek and the spelling bee all added to the rich tapestry that was about more than writers writing or readers reading. this was a festival about communion. intimate sharing.

but author, aryan kaganof, appears to have a different take on events and it seems that storm clouds may be brewing in the aftermath of the festival. kaganof appeared as a panellist in “re-writing the writer’s mind” at the hospice hall (event 17, saturday 16th may). he says “the last time i saw so many so-called [white] faces staring back at me in a hall was in 1980, just before i matriculated. but granted, that was the high period of apartheid and the so-called blacks weren’t allowed in then. so what is going wrong with the franschhoek literary festival?”

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Impressions of the Franschhoek Literary Festival, 16 may 2009


the last time i saw so many so-called whites (only) faces staring back at me in a hall was in 1980, just before i matriculated. but granted, that was the high period of apartheid and the so-called blacks weren’t allowed in then. so what is going wrong with the franschhoek literary festival? and yes it is true that victor dlamini was in the audience and he did make a point about skin colour not mattering in the digital domain because, well, it doesn’t; and it’s true that karabo kgoleng was almost in the audience – the hospice hall was sold out and there was a queue to get into the event leading back out the hall and into the scullery where karabo was standing. a packed event, well over 70 paying people, and only two of them “of colour” as the euphemism goes. and both of them are being paid to be there, are attending in their official capacity.

but does that matter anymore?

i think it does. in south africa, in 2009, 15 years on from the so-called “end of apartheid” it strikes me as unhealthy, perversely so, that an event which carries the kind of cultural cachet as the franschhoek literary festival should be playing to all white houses. could one read this startling demographic as a sign that the so-called blacks aren’t interested in literature? or perhaps that they aren’t interested in paying to see writers talk about literature? or that so-called black audiences are only interested in attending panels where there are so-called blacks to look at. (curator ben williams selected the panel i was on, which also included lauren beukes and stacy hardy, based on his impressions of who was actively involved in the new media expanded literature environment). i don’t know the answer to these questions. i suspect that there are a lot of so-called black and coloured readers and writers out there (and especially in the western cape) who simply feel alienated by the festival. i don’t know if that perception is fair – probably the organisers of the festival will have something to say on this point – but i believe the perception to be real and therefore it should be addressed.


eben venter, the author of one of the most intriguing and disquieting south african novels ever, horrelpoot, was in the audience and he disagreed vehemently with my observation that in holland literary books are purchased voraciously as a mark of class consciousness but rarely, if ever, actually read. i believe this phenomenon to be not only true in the netherlands, but increasingly so here in south africa. who has the time to read all of the new south african novels that are being pumped out by the dozen? is the current publishing boom indicative of a real wave of interesting fiction or the frenzied twitching of an industry that is hoping to sustain itself against the challenge of the new digital media by using the bulldozer combination of volume and hype?


i have been reading fernando pessoa’s book of disquiet for two years now. i’m only halfway through the book. and before you rush to complain that pessoa wasn’t a south african author – well, he was. he lived in durban until he was 19 yeas old and attended the same high school as i did, durban high school (dhs). pessoa’s modernist masterpiece was not even published in his lifetime, it was never part of any mass market concept, never part of a publisher’s hype to sell books. it’s the most extraordinary book i’ve ever (not yet fully) read. the use of language is glorious, painstaking, enhanced by a complete lack of interest in the market, in readers, in selling itself. it is language from thoth to hermes and back again. pessoa writes for the gods of writing. how much of what is being presented at the franschhoek literary festival is literature at all, in this sense? i don’t honestly know, i don’t have the time to read all these books. does anyone?

aryan kaganof

this post first appeared on kagablog

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“For centuries a small number of writers were confronted by many thousands of readers. This changed toward the end of the last century. With the increasing extension of the press, which kept placing new political, religious, scientific, professional, and local organs before the readers, an increasing number of readers became writers – at first, occasional ones. It began with the daily press opening to its readers space for “letters to the editor.” And today there is hardly a gainfully employed European who could not, in principle, find an opportunity to publish somewhere or other comments on his work, grievances, documentary reports, or that sort of thing. Thus, the distinction between author and public is about to lose its basic character. The difference becomes merely functional; it may vary from case to case. At any moment the reader is ready to turn into a writer.” Walter Benjamin, 1936

great art daily

over 150 contributors:

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