archive - issue 14

  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • /

    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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Wednesday, 14 August 2013 06:10

A Man About the House

I’m well aware of the fact that this account is going to ruffle some feminist feathers. Admitting to anything anti-the-independent-woman is never well received. But sometimes the truth can set a sister free.

We are often drawn to the familiar, be it ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. The familiar for me, was a father who liked to do the so called man stuff. He changed my tyre, fixed the blown fuses, got behind the dishwasher to retrieve the dead mouse, paid for mine and my mother’s dinner from his personal account, even though they also shared one. Dad wasn’t always the most affectionate or verbal man, but his way of showing love was to do those jobs that his girls didn’t really want to do. Mum always left a list of chores by the microwave. You know … clean the BBQ, cut down that dead tree etc. She told me that the list was there for the times my father was in the marital dog box. She always knew he was sorry when one or more of the things on the to-do list got completed. Alas, wedded bliss was then restored. Was it the ideal mode for communicating remorse? Possibly not. But, it worked for them and they have been married for over 30 years. She knew him well enough to know that saying the word sorry and fixing the gate meant the same thing. However, one was far more difficult for a proud man than the other. 

Like many young women, I hit my teens and my anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-just-as-well-and-probably-better, I-am-woman-hear-me-roar stage. But, I must admit, as I have matured and become sure of my ability to look after myself, I enjoy a man about the house doing his man things. I don’t feel the need to assert my strong femininity and independence any longer, as I know and respect who I am. I have that inner confidence in my ability to solve any problem and face any challenge. This belief is an ingrained and concrete part of me; a part that was encouraged and nurtured by both of my parents. Although Dad was happy to change that tyre, I was hauled out to the garage and taught how to do it myself for emergencies, as well as - a disturbing lesson - how to unclog a toilet.

I have lived, without a partner, for many years now and I function superbly in my very biased opinion. However, after flatting with girls for the year we have welcomed a lad into the mix. He lights the fire before we get home, he brings the wood in from the garage and he puts the bins out on rubbish day. When the power goes out, he straps his head torch on and gets up into the fuse box to have a poke around. The other morning as I made my coffee in the kitchen, I could hear a power-drill in the bathroom as he put a shelf up for all the girly potions to live on, along with his solitary toothbrush. Could I have done all of these things myself, absolutely. Do I enjoy doing them, no sorry I do not. Does he? Well he seems to, as nobody asks him to do it. So I don’t see why we have to over-think it.

And I have a few little jobs of my own that I don’t mind all too much. I vacuum and clean the stove-top, minus the 1940’s kitchen pinny apron (although they are actually quite functional … I should get one). Is it because I am a woman and I think it is my job? Nope. They are just two household chores that I find quite therapeutic; especially when I suck up forgotten hair-clips that clink their way through the vacuum pipe. Marvellous.

In the case of a man and a woman cohabitating together, be it romantic, or otherwise, is it really all about falling into gender roles? Or, is it about showing care and respect. We all take care of each other in different ways. We all like to feel useful and part of the team. As long as those team-mates feel respected, appreciated and accepted for their efforts, whatever they may be, I don’t feel the need to get my liberal panties in a bunch about it. As Sheryl Crow put it so eloquently, ‘if it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad’. And sitting by the fire looking at the suck rating of vacuums online makes me far happier than pushing those retched smelling bins out in the sideways, icy rain. Just call me Martha … I’ll get over it.
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Katie Appleyard

Currently, I am a PhD student in the field of Pediatric Health. I also write a blog and do some photography work on the side. I am living in Dunedin, new Zealand.