A History of Silence

Featured Image: Corbis/Getty Images As a young child growing up in Cape Town, I knew that the minstrel carnival my parents took us to each new year and the songs sung by the Malay choirs had something to do with slavery. It certainly wasn’t something that we learned about during history lessons at school and…

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An Artist’s Reframing of the Past

On first viewing, Jody Paulsen’s textile collages displayed against the bright yellow walls of the SMAC Gallery in Cape Town appear to be a joyful celebration of life. I am drawn towards them, wanting to touch the multiple layers of felt, recalling childhood games and crafts. On closer examination though, I recognise deeper references to…

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Symmetry in a World Out of Kilter

Featured Illustration: Lena Shevchuk “When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” -Khalil Gibran . . . My father would have appreciated the symmetry of the date he died — 12.1.21 — and would have commented on…

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A Year of Gratitude

Featured Illustration: Ann Chen A year ago, soon after I returned from an emotionally exhausting Civil Rights trip to the USA, I had the opportunity to take stock at a women’s retreat that I attended. I realised that there had been many positives hidden among the personal challenges of the previous year. Determined to begin…

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A Portrait of Respectability

Many years ago, my grandmother took her two children off to a photographic studio to have their portraits taken. In the fragile photograph that is now more than 80 years old, my father poses on an oversized chair, slightly leaning into his older sister who is standing next to him. I am intrigued that my…

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Reflections on Heritage Day in South Africa

As I scrolled through posts on social media about the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG), I noticed that she wore her iconic white beaded collar in the majority of the images. Apparently, it’s a favourite in her collection of neckpieces, and came from South Africa, where it is made and worn…

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The Joy of Being Human

Joy has been popping up in my feeds a lot lately. One of the more recent posts was an image of a jazz musician, Jon Batiste, playing freedom songs and hymns on a joyfully decorated upright piano at a protest march in New York. He has been doing that at marches all over the city,…

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The Breath That Connects Us

Featured Artwork: Feroze Alam In the same week that George Floyd was so callously killed by a police officer in Minneapolis, I attended a webinar celebrating Africa Month and what it meant to be African. Right here in South Africa, a country that carries the heavy legacy of colonialism, slavery, and apartheid, is irrefutable, scientific…

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