archive - issue 14

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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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Monday, 30 April 2012 02:00

Questions For Inequality

By  Lucinda de Leeuw
Inequality, when I first come across you my immediate impression is disparity. Before we extend our arms to acquaint ourselves I can already tell that you've lived a life that is uncommon; almost unfair, tainted by injustice, obscurity and irregularity. These are the words I want to use to describe you.

We sit down for a while; make small talk and get all the politeness out of the way. There's an awkward silence about us now. A thick air of uncertainty above our heads, met with unfamiliarity and when I turn to face you, I'm met with a look of indifference.

I ask you if you've heard about the mother who was crushed to death in a stampede whilst waiting to enrol her son into his studies. I continue on about the thousands of aspiring students who've been turned away from the hopes of a future more promising than that of their parents' present lives. You're silent. After what seems like an hour, you get up. Poised, you lean over and almost whisper in my ear, "I know where you're headed with this so my answer to all the questions you might have is: I will remain unchanged."

You briskly walk away, while I'm caught mid-breath in the uncomfortable position of seeking retaliation in my head. You're gone before I can gather anything fast enough.

I sit and wonder if you've any idea of the questions that boggle my mind. You have the answers that I need, the answers that are imperative to many others. You're a part of our lives, you have shaped our world, you continue to push the boundaries of our society, you break homes and separate families; you're the 'us-versus-them'.

This is what I what I want to know from you: Why does the gap between the rich and the poor keep widening?

The numbers between the educated and the uneducated are astounding, why is that?

I'm clutching on to an intangible hope for my children's children when I read the numbers between employed and unemployed youth. Why do you that?

Inequality, why is the homosexual offered second-rate citizenship when they're in vivo and in vitro constructed from the same morphology as the heterosexual? Why the distinctions between superiority and inferiority among the black and the white, the Jew and the Arab, the Western and the Oriental?

How come a Nordic country provides free education yet Somalia, Haiti, Chad, Afghanistan have taken away that access from their children?

Why do some women wear rocks that are simply chiselled blood diamonds?

Why do some stomachs have to go to bed hungry, wake up the same, go to bed again with the pangs and yet others can throw out food that looks unappealing?

In the office, you allow an attractive face advantage over an attractive intelligence; yet the corporations who take pride in your opposite shout about not being discriminatory.

Why are the numbers of prisoners not equal to the severity of their misdeeds? We have prisoners of conscience detained in cold concrete cells while rapists and murderers are roaming our streets. Political; and held captive because a government felt they exceeded the limits of freedom of expression; what then does freedom equate to exactly? From Egypt, to Greece to China and across the seas to Louisiana we have these injustices occurring. All I keep hearing and seeing are how governments' intolerances increase against those of us rising up against you.

How much satisfaction do you derive from all of this?

There are scores of migrants sleeping on cardboard in detention centres or overcrowded cells only because they have the ambition to provide for their starving families. Why would I flee my country if I wasn't seeking some sort of refuge, to restore my human rights, to find a place of solidarity? I see people living happily in other countries, is it so wrong of me to want the same for my family? Is it so wrong to want us to live a life removed from your breeding?

Why should one mother's child be clothed in designer labels while another's seek shelter in a cave somewhere in the clutches of Sudan?

Stop showing us the images on television screens or tabloids about the abundance that lies in the laps of others and expect the rest of us to be content with flies leaping in and out of our mouths.

Stop showing us your ugliness, Inequality.

Stop showing us how we are not equal to our neighbours.

Stop the fallacies of a promise that a better tomorrow might some day arrive, when you're out there casting your shadows wherever you go.

Stop walking away from our questions, Inequality; and face up to your misdemeanours.

Show us some empathy; we've had enough of the indifference.
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