archive - issue 11

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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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  • 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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Monday, 07 May 2012 02:00

Nineveh

By  Sally Fink
Nineveh is a window into the life of pest controller Katya Grubbs, a woman following in the footsteps of her estranged father. But unlike her father, who used rather unscrupulous means of dealing with people's unwanted problems, Katya chooses the painless approach. Yet despite her attempts to be her own woman, echoes of her father's methods sometimes creep into her own, such as the unethical practice of "insurance" which entails leaving a pest or two behind in order to ensure repeat business.

The story begins when Katya is offered the opportunity to work at Nineveh, a new housing development stuck in hiatus because of a strange beetle infestation. Katya's life is also in hiatus, and Nineveh offers a change, the temptation of the life of quiet luxury she yearns for. She can't resist. But there is a fly in the ointment. The name Grubbs is familiar to the owner, and Katya discovers that her father was initially contracted for the job, and the relationship ended badly.

When she steps through the gates of Nineveh, Katya's carefully constructed life of independence crumbles to dust, and she finds herself back under the apprenticeship of her father, helping him to hatch a plan to squeeze money out of the owner of the development.


Nineveh is a voyeuristic view into the life of an ordinary woman who could be a sister, an aunt, or a friend. It explores how our relationships with our family affect us, sometimes too deep, and how old wounds can haunt us for the rest of our lives.

The novel is beautifully written and descriptive, with moments that resonate clearly with real life. The scenes of old and modern Cape Town are as vivid as a picture.

The imagery of the Biblical city of Nineveh, an ancient Assyrian city that fell to ruins, is evident throughout the narrative. Katya's apartment is literally falling to pieces because of the construction of a new housing block across the street, while the housing development she sees as her salvation is doomed as well, and is slowly but surely being reclaimed by nature.

While everything she knows demolishes around her, Katya tries to scramble for a place in the world, like one of the unwanted vermin she's supposed to relocate. This is both tragic and also frighteningly familiar.

For all its seriousness, there are moments of lightness, such as those featuring Katya's nephew, who is in an awkward stage of adolescence. We share Katya's awe of this young creature maturing before her eyes as he discovers girls, and in turn, tries to learn the ropes of the pest control business.

Like in her delectable collection of short stories, Homing, Rose-Innes has once again delivered a fine exploration of life in modern day South Africa.
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