archive - issue 15

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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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Friday, 05 April 2013 16:50

Too much, too soon: A manifesto for early retirement

Sometimes I think that I tried to do too much, too soon in my life. I kind of managed to get a bunch of things done during my twenties (sayonara, my absolutely-not-wasted-at-all youth!), but my energy and focus are shifting. Now I've only got the 'too much'; the 'too soon' is long gone.

I never imagined that I might see the day when I not only had to pen an eleventh editorial for a digital edition of ITCH, but when this little publication would no longer be an independent creative magazine but the "creative expression journal" of the School of Literature, Language and Media (SLLM) at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Look who's all grown up. Not just little old ITCH – me, too. I have high hopes for this new chapter in ITCH's life. It's a small step; it's a giant leap. This small, creative journal that was once produced through the efforts of mainly just little old me (with indispensable help from other wonderful persons – Hein! Karen! Li! Vuyo! Karina! – from time to time) has now become an official creative journal of one of the best Universities in South Africa.

I have mixed feelings about this. The most prominent emotion that comes up is one of pride. Wow. A group of serious and impressive academics in the fields of literature, language and media agreed that the reputation of ITCH, its scope and network, made it worth adopting. All that hard work, those long solo hours editing, curating and uploading, has certainly paid off. I'm so pleased: ITCH will now continue to exist, with or without me. Without me? What? That's right.... This new chapter means that I am no longer absolutely needed. Sometimes this makes me feel sad. Separation anxiety. A loss of agency. Even though I want to move on with my career and make space for others to shape and reshape this publication, it sometimes feels hard to let go. Hard, but not impossible. It's a little emotional, but it's for the best. Its time for ITCH to go and be a grown up out there in the world, and this new guardian – in the form of a brilliant and accomplished editorial board and the institutional recognition and support from Wits' SLLM – will provide the kind of input and networking that I could never manage all on my own, and which to be honest, I just don't have the energy for any longer.

Here is a little dose of realism: a big university like Wits is a bit like an oil tanker. It takes time for such a huge ship to turn. It can't make quick and sudden maneuvers. It is very likely that as ITCH is absorbed into the institutional culture of the university, it will take a little time to adjust to new processes of communication and production. So please remember this, and please bear with us as we develop our new systems and modes of communicating with contributors and readers. I have no doubt that with each issue, the new-fangled ITCH will improve not only in terms of the scope of each edition's content, but in the ways that we do things. Any member of the editorial board will welcome any feedback or suggestions that you might have. This first edition published by the SLLM is a first step to what I believe will become a brilliant future. It has taken a lot of effort and collaboration in order to create this new, more flexible, digital platform for the magazine. It has not been easy to transfer all of the archival material from the old site architecture to the new. Some things might not have come across very smoothly. We are very likely to find a few glitches that need fixing. We will smoothen and we will fix as we go along. If there is something we need to know about, tell us. We are committed to doing whatever we need to do in order to ensure that all of the archival content is properly represented in such a way as to do justice to all past ITCH contributors.

Stepping aside as ITCH editor (even though I will remain on the editorial board) has been a long time coming. I believe that I have learned everything I can possibly learn from ITCH. For ten years, I have been involved in conceptualizing, communicating, editing, pulling together and publishing five paper, and ten digital issues of ITCH (well, eleven if you count this one). It has been awesome, in the very literal sense of the word. But I have other projects to which I want to devote my time and intellectual energy. It is time now for fresh blood to take over and make ITCH something new. It is time for ITCH to serve as a platform for other young, creative people to learn things about creative, independent publishing by doing them. If you would like to get involved in ITCH – especially if you are a Wits student – don't hesitate to get in touch. We would love to hear from you. The extent to which you can get involved is in direct proportion to the energy you have to share.

My days at the helm of the zippy, but often leaking, little speedboat that was ITCH are now over. Now we have a bigger, more stable and better-resourced ship. We have some marvelous ideas for the voyages that we plan to take in the years ahead, and we invite you to come along on those journeys. I'm taking early retirement as captain. Now I'm just a member of the crew, who will sometimes be scrubbing the deck, but mostly will be cheering while other members of the editorial team chart the waters and set sail. ONWARD!
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Mehita Iqani

I am a member of the ITCH Editorial Board. I have been involved in ITCH since 2003, when I started the publication. I have a PhD in Media Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences. I am currently a Senior Lecturer in Media Studies in the School of Literature, Language and Media at the University of the Witwatersrand.