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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Wednesday, 19 March 2014 11:51

Issue 12: TABOOS

We all know those fluid cunning words or concepts that manage to slip through our fingers no matter how carefully we approach them. I speak several languages, but in none of them can I ever truly grasp the meaning of the word 'taboo'. Countless definitions and explanations allow me to circle in on it, to even use or discuss it, but it is never as clear to me as other difficult words like 'love' or 'evil' are. These, in turn, are perhaps as mystifying to others as 'taboo' is to me. That is the nature of words. And 'taboo' is…
Reading from the 1909 Futurist Manifesto by Marinetti
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,…
Monday, 18 March 2013 21:51

What Good are Manifestos?

What good are manifestos? They don’t change the basic fact: human beings are shits. It took us millions of years to evolve into highly sophisticated but selfish (and paradoxically self-destructive) entities, and I don’t see us changing any time soon. I’ve never quite been able to subscribe to the Hegelian view that incrementally, collectively, we are making progress towards a more enlightened state as a species. It is just possible that, very very VERY slowly, we are starting to achieve consensus – based on the uncontested principle of minimising harm – about the best ways of organising, regulating and liberating…
Sunday, 17 March 2013 18:17

In Our Virtual Hands

The threshold between a private, fleeting thought and its fully fledged manifestation in the real world. I picture her standing there, her hair newly braided, her hands nervously smoothing out her freshly ironed skirt. The smile is tentative, but she holds her head high. There is pride in her posture and an eagerness to engage with what lies ahead. She takes a bold step forward. People look up and pay attention to her message. I remember writing my very first manifesto for an art project I conceived with Qra, a friend. It was the beginning of the mass-scale internet age.…
Monday, 07 May 2012 02:00

(In)equality: (Im)possible?

Sometimes I wonder: how would my life be if I could be assured of exactly the same measures of pain, love, lust, fulfillment, success, failure, jealousy, boredom and pleasure as every single other living person on the planet?
Monday, 05 September 2011 02:00

Flipping Figures of Eight

Ever feel like you're living life doubled back on yourself? Me neither. But the echoes, the returns, the patterns, the coming-back-to's: I feel them quite profoundly. That, and the newness. My life has flipped a figure of eight on me. I started off in this one place at a tender age. It was a place unchosen, and that always rankled me. Back then I didn't even know I was supposed to find myself. All I knew was a certain highway that took me to school and that I should regularly put twenty rands of petrol into the tank of my…
One thing that we know for sure, observing the devastation in the countries of the Indian Ocean in 2004 and in Japan right now, is that there are fault lines in the earth's crust, and when those tectonic plates shift suddenly, the world as we know it rocks and shakes. The scale of devastation unleashed by forces of nature leaves us stunned and quivering, vulnerable and shocked. How can life be so fragile? How could everything that we rely upon - those roads and bridges, buildings and walls - fall to pieces so quickly? Crumbling into rubble as a result…
I am not naturally the most cheerful person. My parents tell me that my first word was 'No' and, although I don't remember the moment, I imagine it to be more of a first statement: 'No!' Nevertheless, I do make an effort to think positively. Often, this means minimizing expectations and managing disappointments. Trying requires good faith, and resilience when things don't work out. Those are optimistic qualities. But I get that describing them this way comes across a tinge pessimistic. Some people literally overflow with enthusiasm for life. I love people like that, precisely because I am not blessed…
Tuesday, 22 June 2010 02:00

On Showing I's and Seeing Eyes

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.…
Tuesday, 16 February 2010 02:00

Wandering wonders / Wondering wanders

What shall I write about for my editorial? A good question, and appropriate to the theme at hand despite being rather predictable and clichéd. Then again, I have always rather liked clichés. To some degree, every question is a cliché, is it not? Rhetorically speaking, of course. What will happen next? How will I get through this? Where will I go? What will I do? What will make me happy? Where will life take me? Will I choose it or will it choose me? Sometimes I think that I am addicted to questions, especially those that concern the future and…
Monday, 14 September 2009 02:00

Eyeballs, Fish-heads and Bubbles

My life, like yours perhaps, is lived in full-colour and it is zooming and determined and breathless and racing – and it lingers for no one. Least of all me. All too often, to my fist-clenched impatience, life politely requests that I take a seat, or a numbered ticket, and wait. It will be with me shortly. It continues to zoom and race and arrange its affairs – MY affairs – but without the necessity of my involvement. And in these moments I am forced to pause. I do not want to pick up a well-thumbed trashy magazine from the…
Thursday, 05 March 2009 02:00

Creative currencies vs. False gods

Money: what a thing. It can create such extremes of joy or despair – depending of course, on whether one has it or not. I've experienced neither true poverty, nor true wealth – but have glimpsed both, fleetingly, from the sidelines of other people's lives. Fantasized about both lifestyles. Me: sunbathing on a yacht, in the Caribbean. Me: counting pennies in the dreary fog of London to afford a cup of tea. Both are true fantasies. Both are false memories. I have my moments when the world feels wonderfully abundant, and others when it feels dreadfully mean, but overall I…
Tuesday, 30 September 2008 02:00

Entry to Asterisk Land

The door-woman, hip as all hell in hoop earrings, a red-lipped smile and a loose 'fro, aims her permanent marker at my wrist: first she draws a dainty x, then superimposes a perfectly intersecting +. I stop for a moment and contemplate the fresh asterisk marking my skin. How did she know?Appropriately, I'm just about to enter The Star of Bethnal Green, a venue that, despite its biblical allusions, is about as secular as it gets in the east end of London. The crowd is self-assured and carefully styled. Several women sport half-shaved heads, which, rather than compromising it, accentuates…
Sunday, 25 May 2008 02:00

The space between.

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, I know, to regress into a nostalgic rhetoric as I write my first editorial for ITCH Online, but I can't help thinking back to the five print magazines that we made, and comparing them to the promises and perils of this new experiment. Will ITCH online be Better/Worse? Is this the End/Beginning? Of course, one of the benefits of the glorious internet is its interactive potential – so I can abdicate editorial responsibility to the new…
"Hold to the here, the now, through which all future plunges to the past."