archive - issue 13

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Immigrants

    By Stanley Onjezani Kenani
    you want to livenothing 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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    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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Un Hombre Fuerte

    By Tamo Vonarim 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

    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 Wilhelm Saayman
    This series of images, made using pen and ink, photographs and Photoshop, explore alternate/dream realities.
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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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Tuesday, 22 June 2010 02:00

On Showing I's and Seeing Eyes

By  Mehita Iqani
Who am I? I am Mehita Iqani. I have three i's in my name and two eyes in my face. One I in my heart, and a million in my head. I am the product of my parents, the socio-economics of my upbringing, the injustices of the past. I am my acceptances and refusals, my journeys and waitings, my goals and failures, my inspirers and mentors, my hopes and ideas. I am my friends. I am the spider in the middle of a web called ITCH. I am part of a place for I's to show and eyes to see. I facilitate some form of visibility.

I am both embarrassed and empowered by speaking about I. But where else could I possibly justify doing this, than in this notoriously self-centred issue of ITCH Online. Like you, I want to be noticed and appreciated (sometimes). But more than this, I want to integrate into the structure of bits and binary code that make this space. As opposed to fill it up with me. That would be terribly dull. Instead, it is filled up with many moments of many different I's.

Six point six billion human beings on this earth, each with a unique individuality, a name, a set of experiences, hopes, dreams, disappointments and talents. Each with a private mental world. Each with particular narratives of hurt and anger, joy and gratitude. Each holding unsayable thoughts and deep whispers of the heart. Each with loves loved and unloved, with hopes hoped and stopped up. So many I's - so many of us, all together on this scrap of dust we call home - but also all, ultimately alone.

In this issue of ITCH you will get some glimpses into almost 70 of those 6.5 billion inner worlds, and their connections to so many others. Please, go explore!

Funny too, how our inner realities are related to outer materialities. I once read that the human animal has a physiological tunnel running through it from the mouth through the intestines to the other end (you are what you eat / excrete, etc.). Maybe our experience of life is a similar journey, as we travel through the core of something else, from outside through the inside and back out again. We enter this world and leave it under circumstances beyond our control.

Thinking of the self, its id and ego, seems to throw up questions of birth and death, of becoming, being and ending an I. This mystery of existence becomes so much more tangible when, away from the distractions of everyday life, of trying to be through work or play or talk or making a cup of tea, suddenly someone is born or dies. The sudden drama of a new I becoming, or an old I exiting stage left. Deep love and longing flare up those occasions - the knowing that we are all human, we are all connected, that we are mortal flesh and blood. We are nothing but weird little miracles called lives that are born and then die and do things inbetween.

Who am I? The words I might bring to bear to describe myself all seem to fall short of communicating anything - except an eliminating and frustrating sense of essence. I am more than the sum of my labels. But without those labels, I am no one, just a ghost of a personality floating through time. With them, I can be recognised while I am here. I am named therefore I am. I am seen therefore I am.

I is me. I is we. I is you and me and everything between us. I see myself reflected in your eyes. Thank you for looking.
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