archive - issue 20

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  • A vision of nothing

    By Ross Fleming
    I am oddly contentjust riding round insmall circles vocalisingvague unwords at myselfmy fairy wheels semireliably affixed by mysometimes present fatherand the bullies all offelsewhere
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    • WRITING
  • The work series Aesthetics of Security derives from a longer stay in Johannesburg, South Africa. The city has still one of the highest crime
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    • AUDIOVISUAL
  • Chicken

    By Karen Jennings
    That was where we saw the chicken being eaten by another. It had been hit by a car, that first one. The second, coming
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    • POETRY
  • Cosmo's Return

    By Frank Meintjies
    Cosmo was released from prison after three years. Talent, called such because he was a former soccer player of great renown, met him for
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    • WRITING
  • I have discovered I prefer to walk with it tucked safely beneath my descending aorta – to me, it is the last bit of comfort
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    • WRITING
  • Escaping the Grid

    By Martin Gantman
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    • AUDIOVISUAL
  • Happiness

    By fabio sassi
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    • AUDIOVISUAL
  • How Are You Brother? Amen.

    By Mapule Mohulatsi
    How Are You Brother? Amen. It was 4p.m when the yellow van arrived, and I was glad. The Sunday breeze was slightly tinged with
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    • WRITING
  • If one were to look

    By Sheikha A.
    If one were to look backon how the present resulted,there would be a track of wheelson the throat of kindness. Forthe lump that shrivelled
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    • WRITING
  • The future of Africa does not belong to obsessions with power and sloganeering like “Down with the West, down with the detractors, down with
    Read More
    • WRITING
  •  “dubula lenja!”splattering all over the lens, SABC news crew left bewildered, his words were so violent that they hurt delivered with such a ferocity
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    • WRITING
  • Pepi's Awakening

    By Ahmed Patel
    When Pepi awoke from what she thought was a short nap, she was surprised to see what appeared to be a thick layer of
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    • WRITING
  • Peripheral

    By Jo-Ann Bekker
    She pays attention but she doesn’t see. She has an astigmatism her contact lenses don’t correct. She can’t use her camera properly, can’t see
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    • WRITING
  • Sawubona

    By Sihle Ntuli
    literally translated to mean ‘i see you’   following with the eye  the stream filling mind with water  with this in mind as a
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    • WRITING
  • Soentjie's Song

    By Denise Y. Fielding
    1 The drought was grievous.   It clung to men’s hearts and hung from their faces.   Silence lay heavy.   No chirp of crickets.   No bird
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    • WRITING
  • 1 Charity remains the most violent And lasting Form of colonialism.   2 No gift comes without A future request.   3 When people
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    • WRITING
  • One – She wore her nakedness too well, it scared me. Two – Her breasts were a monument; a single one covered my universe whole - it
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    • WRITING
  • The Art of Aldous

    By Lumumba Mthembu
    Fool? Nutter? Brucker? Thus I have been christened. It will have to do; it might as well have been any other way. However, a
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    • WRITING
  • Winner of the Deon Hofmeyr creative writing prize1. If there’s one thing I hate most it’s being interrupted mid-beer. I’m sitting outside at MaBliksem’s
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    • WRITING
  • An elaborate classical Roman arch frames Raphael's School of Athens (1509-1510), behind which three more arches advance towards a vanishing point; focusing the viewer's
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    • WRITING
  • Watching the Sky

    By Karen Fitzgerald
    Vision is a wide-reaching concept. With this piece, I'm merging the physical/literal idea of vision, (as in seeing) with the idea of en-visioning. Watching
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    • AUDIOVISUAL
Friday, 31 March 2017 15:13

Peripheral

By 
She pays attention but she doesn’t see. She has an astigmatism her contact lenses don’t correct. She can’t use her camera properly, can’t see well enough to align the split screen or clear the micro-prism ring. It is hit and miss whether her photographs are in focus. It is hit and miss whether they are well composed.

A photograph of hers appears on the front page: teenagers at a mass funeral to bury protestors shot by the police. The teenagers wear khaki clothes and black berets; they carry wooden machine guns with AK-47 painted on the barrels. A photographer discusses composition with her, points out why her photograph works: the way the head of one teenager is higher than the rest, the way his raised hand points to the left and the teenager with the gun faces right. She knows it was a fluke. She has seen the negatives, the contact sheet, the strip of blurred photographs on either side.

She has tunnel vision. She wears her glasses if she works at home at night, finishing feature articles she started in the day. She needs quiet to think, to focus. She asks those she interviews what they saw, not what they felt. She turns her head to see when she wears spectacles, the periphery is blurred, discounted.

She sees what is in front of her. She concentrates on the grid of streets in a new city, the famous landmarks, the houses of the jailed heroes, the hospital with prefab bungalows. Her guide’s discomfort is peripheral, his reluctance to show her around as if she were a foreigner.

She sees herself as a voice for the voteless, bringing their voices to the ears of those who have the vote. She doesn’t focus on why so many voteless reporters are covering sport or employed only as freelancers. She doesn’t ask the reporter who covered the boycotts before her why he was taken off the beat.

Her eyes and ears make sense of two languages only. She cannot interview everyone in their mother tongue. She changes quotes so the voteless speak standard English. She doesn’t see that grammar is evolving, that she is casually eclipsing voices herself.
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Jo-Ann Bekker

Jo-Ann Bekker has an MA in Creative Writing from the university currently known as Rhodes. Her short stories have appeared in Itch #16, Volume 1 Brooklyn, New Contrast, The Drum, Type/Cast and Problem House Press