archive - issue 1

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  • /

    By MJ Turpin
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  • Apartment / Containers

    By Vincent Bezuidenhout
    These diptychs are the start of a series of images I have been working on regarding the visual landscape we choose to surround ourselves
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  • Collage

    By Claudio Parentela
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  • Drag and Snap

    By Leigh-Anne Niehaus
    This series is inspired by the childhood game of "snapdragon", which allows for simplistic and delightful decision-making through random selections of colour and number.
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  • Human/Nature

    By Lydia Anne McCarthy
    This series explores moments between nature and human beings that are at once idealistic and unsettling. Each picture is an independent narrative, but placed
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  • p u n c t u a t i o n

    By Ula Einstein
    Einstein works with a diverse range of media, including drawings and installation with fire, thread, and blades. The series of drawings and installations with
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  • Pretty Babies

    By Peregrine Honig
    With the premise that "/ " presents what is IN and what is OUT, the "Pretty Babies" series explores the fashion industry's well-published and syndicated DOs
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  • River Bank

    By Mario Sughi
    The symbol / is intended initially as a symbol of division. A real or unreal line divides the girl from the water, the girl from
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  • Seasaw

    By Sol Kjøk
    Here, the motif is conceived of as a seesaw (the typo in the title is intended, as this drawing is part of a series
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  • Series Seven Up

    By Noel Fignier
    Text by João Branco Kyron, HipnóticaThe collision is imminent and in the fraction of time left, the eyes shut and the vision is superbly
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  • A battle over samoosas between the snobbish Cinderella and a homeless electrician is mediated by Cinderella's boyfriend JJ. The samoosa battle is conflated with
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  • Untitled

    By Wilhelm Saayman
    This series of images, made using pen and ink, photographs and Photoshop, explore alternate/dream realities.
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  • Let's go there

    By Leigh Le Roux
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  • The space between.

    By Mehita Iqani
    It's a handy little line, the one that we use to make our options known. Either/Or. Paper and ink or binary code? Its clichéd,
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  • /

    By Ruth Barker
    On the QWERTY layout of my computer keyboard, the symbol / appears beside the questioning symbol ?. They are represented together on the same key, and
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  • I returned home after my first year in college to discover my younger sister had turned gorgeous. This was a disappointment, but not an
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  • Forward! Slash!

    By Travis Lyle
    You think you're a forward-thinking kinda person, do you? Lemme be the one to break it to you, sunshine – you're as lame as the
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  • Letter to the Editor

    By Elan Gamaker
    Dear Sir/Madam I should like strenuously to object to the subject matter ("/") of your current issue. It must first be mentioned, however, that it
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  • Butterfly

    By Adriana de Barros
    The pupa, a silk wrap of emotionsIsolated, within breathing, wanting to bethe intense pronoun of selfIt is silly to be one's own pronounShe giggles
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  • Evidence of Life

    By Tamlyn Martin
    Below is an extract from a series of 11 poems created in parallel with visual artworks. 5. Memories laced with visceral realityFlooding herThe gentle
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  • Immigrants

    By Stanley Onjezani Kenani
    you want to livenothing else.you leaveto liveyou swimor like fresh sardinesyou are packedin boatsyou leaveto live.  you leavegold in the belly of Africaoil in
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  • In Between

    By Tania van Schalkwyk
    Raised in an Arabian land of heat, fire and temper,sometimes the calm of England clamps downlike damp in a bathroom with no windowand a
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  • Or: a line drawing

    By Gabeba Baderoon
    Pencil and nothing. Her face turned almost entirely away. Forehead, cheekbone,jaw,the bun low in her neck,shoulderand down,the long linejust enoughthen left alone.
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  • Scissor

    By Charlotte Gait
    There was a time when you and I were connected by iron, acid, vitamin and blood. Where every mouthful I took was with the
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  • Un Hombre Fuerte

    By Tamo Vonarim
    Sun.star.kid: Written these words are, at times of a subconscious flow – whether they are mine, I don't know. All I know is that I
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  • Unbroken Awareness

    By TENDAI MWANAKA
    My life is now a floating shellI am a vessel on that river.The storm, the ship, the sea,Whose shores we lost in crossing.  I
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  • Untitled

    By Aryan Kaganof
    /At R550 rand I thought I'd rather die/ My mother: can I trust this woman?/ I thought the Romans were coming, dinkum/ …and always
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  • PATCH

    By Sean Hampton-Cole
    Keys. John speaking. 'Lo?Good morning. May I speak to Bob Mitchell please?Bob in Bonds?I'm not really sure. I'm trying to...You want extension 125. This
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  • Wayne Porter, freelance journalist, donned his anthropologist's birthday suit and hit the bowling alley. Bar the bowlers hat tipped gently off centre, the man
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  • The Incised Wound

    By Joanne Hichens
    "Please, for me, Dave," I placed my hand on his, and really, no begging, just asked him nicely, "Lay off the booze tonight." Whether
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  • He had been driving for hours through that unstable, somnambulist night when he fell asleep at the wheel. He awoke with a start and
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Norbert Herrmann

Norbert Herrmann

Norbert Herrmann has been living in Berlin | Germany and Johannesburg | South Africa for several years. He produces audio-podcasts (tuneplaces.com) as well as short short stories.

Thursday, 08 June 2017 13:27

contemporary foolery

Startup Scaleup Digihub

Innovation Technological Revolution

Web 2.0 Transfer Internet of Things

Big Data Smart Devices Agile Sphinx

Augmented Reality Autonomous Driving

Energy Transition Industry 4.0

Earth System Analyses Intelligent Home

Foster Framework Corresponding Clone

Integration Co-creation Hackathon

Artificial Intelligence Self-Learning Babylon

We accelerate to tenfold extraterrestrial speed

While being soaked and killed by rain and heat
Tuesday, 12 January 2016 15:06

eGolizing

Visions of Sissis and Bhoties fluster my mood
as they almost block my route
while I drive on Golden Highway to Johannesburg

Township beauties in Eldorado’s street
they need to eat - right now - not in a week
for even flavoured condoms do not feed
who can tell which life to live - to live and still stay negative?

I turn and I see Eastgate mall
shop next to shop next to shop, they offer it all
people are lured away from life’s foundations
striving for cash’s alternations

Rich suburbs are home to
fear, that is soaking in from the banned outside

fear, that is not telling black from white
fear, that is public relations for armed response companies
even in hipster’s cafés you can sense nightmare’s breath

Disembarking at the taxi rank
as massiv murmur hits my tattered flank
people preach of a golden future everybody knows it will never exist
this poisonous optimism is one of mzanzis life-sustaining myths

I finally enter the centre, I cross Gandhi Square
I’m an anxious alien - as I am perfectly aware
passing Jeppe Street, no welcoming word can be heard
but then he is spouting off, the Johannesburg nerd

“If only you open your eyes, you will find a lot
open-minded smiles and dignity in this vivid hot spot.
helping hands, high-rises, politics, mind-blowing thunder
in Johannesburg you just can’t stop to wonder.”
Tuesday, 03 September 2013 11:02

Don't Talk About This

“My friend,” Lebo claims “every morning way before dawn my friend has to pass this area.” Lebo points at the shacks, the rubbish, the neglect. “My friend, my dear friend” with her naked hand Lebo rubs her eyes “preventatively, every morning before leaving home she puts on a female condom, that's what she does. She is afraid.” Lebo's hands are shivering. “Those condoms are expensive, pretty expensive.” From her coat Lebo unbags a box of female condoms, a caring smile flashes up and then disappears as if it never was there. “But my dear dear friend says, I could use each of those female condoms several times.” Lebo ultimately hides her face behind her hands, she needs to sit down. Lebo breathes.
Saturday, 03 September 2011 02:00

Day of Reconciliation

Thingahangwi, Brandi and Hannes. From early morning on they have been digging, ripping the surface of the earth. This year it is going to be a long, deep hole. The work of Thingahangwi, Brandi and Hannes progresses steadily, scoop by scoop. Earth-clots keep smacking on the growing heap as their shirts become sweatier and heavier. The three of them would not pause until the hole is deep enough. Deep enough to absorb all this year's horror.

From early morning on people from all over the country keep coming. Obviously, it again is a massive crowd, an endless queue. Anyone who is next coolly steps forward and spits. Into the hole. Then turns. And heads home. This annual ceremony is a disgusting spectacle, a repeating, snotish rhythm, an unmistakable symphony of discontent. Even after long and exhausting hours, after the last spit is spit, nobody dares to look into the hole.

It is night already, they are all gone. All but Thingahangwi, Brandi and Hannes. They grab the shovels, refill the hole. Capping works so much faster than digging. The moon is lightening the scenario when they finally re-erect the gravestone. Colourfully written in chalk, it says: "Past. Rest in Peace."
Monday, 15 February 2010 02:00

Ask Jack

They told me to ask Jack. Ever since I could think. My mothers, my brothers and sisters, my neighbors, anyone I spoke to advised me to contact Jack for receiving the answers. Even when I asked: "Who is this Jack, where can I find him?" they replied: "Ask Jack!"

Sitting at the table, I must have been in an awkward mood that evening! I was shivering as I opened my mouth – and they must have known. Was it the form of my lips, was it the glance of my face? A deathly shadow covered their faces. Their mouths open, their eyes just about to burst. They screamed, that's what they did. In the wide black of their pupils I saw this image, I saw the silhouette of a chain. While I gazed, this chain got hold of my brain. My forehead ached, I started to sweat, I closed my mouth. My unspoken words drowned in the mud of my brain, forever lost.

My mothers quickly recovered from that screaming session. And they kept on smiling. They were single women, they gave us bread to eat, every second day a glass of warm milk, they cared about my brothers and sisters. I wanted to see my mothers smiling, thats what counted to me. Because I thought smiling was a sign of happiness. "You should smile too," was what my mothers said, then they paused, kissed my forehead and quickly turned away.

They would not answer my questions, I would not get to know my past. I accepted this feeling of living in a dead-end street. I began to cross my fingers instead of asking questions. From then on everybody felt very contented with me. My mums smiled when I was sitting in the living room, learning vocabulary for school. They came, kissed me on my forehead, kindly jiggling their heads. "You are grown up now!" and I felt as if being grown up means accepting this chain in my brain, this necklace keeping me from stepping forward. I crossed my fingers.

While I slept mothers sat next to me on my bed, their lips sticking on the hair that covered my forehead. I crossed my fingers, I blanketed my face. But my mothers did not mind, they kissed me through the blanket, even through the pillow which later I put around my head. I felt like being a mummy, an artifact of history without any past of it's own. I was walled by an impermeable mass of smiles and kisses. The necklace was choking me, that was what I felt. I was breathing very slowly and kept my fingers crossed, waiting those kisses to go by.

It takes years and a curious incident to come closer to answers. "What is that on your forehead?" Maria wipes away the hairs that curtain my face. It must be signalling deepest astonishment; Maria immediately lets go of my hair, lets go of the question, lets go of me. The curtain falls quicker than it was lifted.

After Maria's question I am too nervous for anything. All I can think of is that thing behind my curtain, I cannot stop my hands from touching my forehead. Yes, there is something, is it a deep scratch? I enter the bathroom. With short breathing I face the mirror. I have been waiting for this moment all my life. I don't dare to lift my hair. I move my hands between my reflection and me. Sweat is running down my body. I open my eyes. I catch a glimpse through my two fingers, through a crack in my sweat soaked mummy. It is the first time ever that I see myself. How could I have missed this all these years?

Headache: the necklace bursts, the mummy cracks, I stamp on it as I rush into a toilet cubicle. I throw up as much as I can, evena little blood comes up. Spitting out all my dull existence, I knock on the door of my mothers' shack. The door creaks. A smell surrounds me. Never have I perceived a smell at my mothers' shack before. I inhale. I inhale deeply.

My mothers stand facing me. They see my shaved head, feel my empty body, spot my fear. They look alarmed. They look prepared. They do not smile. In their wide open eyes all the answers are accumulating, floating.

With no chain around. That's how we stand, severely, immovably, like grave rocks. Our gazes are melting, building something. It is a path to move forward.