Ba Re E Ne Re Literature Festival, Maseru. September 5-7 2014

We’ll be in Maseru next week to celebrate new and old writing from Lesotho and the region at the annual Ba re e ne re Literature Festival – an important platform initiated by our dear departed comrade and sister Liepollo Rantekoa. Via the Pan African Space Station (PASS), we’ll livestream selected sessions from the festival, plus interviews with participating authors, live music and DJ mixes and more. Please join us.

Ba re e ne re Literature Festival posterPress release:


Inspiring the future and preserving the past”

5th to 7th September 2014

The Ba Re E Ne Re Literature Festival 2014 kicks off on the evening of Friday 5th September 2014 at Alliance Francaise de Maseru with the Opening reception and Keynote talk by South African writer Niq Mhlongo on cultivating a new generation of readers and writers in Southern Africa as well as Student writing-competition awards presentation (Forms A-E). Daytime activities will continue on the 6th to the 7th September 2014at Maseru Preparatory School where sensational and invigorating activities revolving around literature shall take place. A poetry/Open-mic night led by Poetry Farm will also be held at the Lehakoe cultural hut on the evening of September 6th and will include performances by VIP guest Keamogetsi Molapong from Namibia.


The Ba re e ne re literature festival will host a total of 14 VIP guests, consisting of 4 International writers (Niq Mhlongo, Yewande Omotoso, Keamogetsi Molapong and Ntone Edjabe of Chimurenga Magazine) and 10 Basotho writers (Mpho Makara, Teboho Rantsoabe, Dr Machobane, Sheila Khala, Patrick Bereng, Majakathata Mokoena, Pheko Octavius, Morabo Morojele, Tebby Letsie and Mr Sekhohola). They will all engage in a variety of activities including Creative Writing and publishing workshops, book readings and panel discussions On “The past, present and future of creative writing in Southern Africa” and “The future of publishing in the digital age, particularly in indigenous languages”.

Activities: (Ongoing throughout the festival)Book/craft sales (Lesotho Book Depot), book exhibitions, bookmaking and creative writing workshops, photo-booth, Games for younger children, Quizzes and prize giveaways and Creative performances; theatre, dance, live music and storytelling.

Interactive engagement: Book Week/Literacy Day in collaboration with Ministry of Education, UNESCO and Peace Corps.


Ba re e ne re was founded in 2011 by Liepollo Rantekoa to advance literary arts in Lesotho and connect Basotho writers and artists with those in the region and around the world. After Liepollo tragically passed away in 2012, her friends and family united to carry on her vision. Our mission is to enrich the lives of Basotho by initiating support and action for the benefit of increased literacy and storytelling. We wish to facilitate artistic exchange between creatives in Lesotho, Basotho in the diaspora and creatives from other cultures. We know that our country harbours plenty of creative Basotho hungry to publish their writings and an audience that finds entertainment and pride in uniquely Basotho stories.

Support: The festival would not be possible without the great support from Pro Helvetia, Friends of Lesotho, Alliance Francaise de Lesotho, The American Embassy, The European Union, UNESCO, Maseru Prep, Lehakoe Recreation and cultural Centre, Morija Museum and Archives, Morija Arts Centre and Morija Sesuto book Depot.

Contact: For interviews or information you can reach the Festival Director: Lineo Segoete via email or visit and “like”

GIPCA present the 2nd Live Art Festival, Cape Town

The Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) present the 2nd Live Art Festival from 27 August to 6 September 2014. Chimurenga publications will be available at selected events.

Read on for the press release announcing GIPCA’s festival:

Live Art brings together a range of artists from the fields of visual arts, dance, theatre, music, architecture and literature. Most works are collaborative and interdisciplinary, with artists from across South Africa as well as Switzerland, the United Kingdom, United States, Cameroon, Nigeria, Netherlands and Ghana. The Festival will take place in various spaces at UCT’s Hiddingh Campus, the Cape Town City Hall and several clubs in and around Green Point. Audiences will be able to move from one work to another, viewing up to five works per evening.

The works have been curated according six main themes, serving as points of departure. Framed encapsulates works about representation. Meta-theatrical, playful, rupturing layers of reality, this series includes work by the inaugural winner of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Performance Art, Anthea Moys, who will present a world premiere of The Impossible Auction at the City Hall, featuring the inimitable Gerard Bester. Co-founder of the iconic Glass Theatre, John Nankin, will also present a world premiere of Shakespeare’s Chair. Nicole Seiler from Switzerland uses heightened technology in her two South African premieres, and Amsterdam-based Ntando Cele presents the South African premiere of her hilarious, critically acclaimed Complicated Art for Dummies. Rosa Postlethwaite from the United Kingdom has created a work especially for the Anatomy Lecture Theatre, exploring site, memory and meta-narrative. Playing on Andy Warhol’s concept of 15 minutes of fame, Nadja Daehnke’s My Minutes inverts assumed roles and invites audiences into the spotlight. Michaelis Galleries present the Independent Curators International’s do it exhibition. Initiated by curator Hans Ulrich Obrist, the project comprises of a list of 250 instructions for artworks by artists like Marina Abramovic, John Baldessari and Dara Birnbaum, to be interpreted differently in each reiteration, acknowledging the particular time and space in which it is recreated.

Republic, a series about state, nation and nationhood, includes the South African premiere of In Case of Fire, Run for the Elevator by the multiple award-winning Boyzie Cekwana, and Mamela Nyamza’s acclaimed 19-Born-76-Rebels. Eduardo Cachuco’s premiere Flatland: A Method for the Experimental Production of Emotions, a lecture-performance that uses texts by Hendrik Verwoerd, forms a foil to the visceral dance performance by Thulani Chauke, Black Dog. The series is punctuated by the authoritative voices of Ghanaian artist Bernard Akoi-Jackson, and seasoned performance artist Julia Raynham who presents the premiere of Monsoon.

Sello Pesa’s acclaimed Limelight on Rites, that has travelled internationally, heads a series of works about the Body and Mortality. In this series, Mohau Modisakeng creates a new work Ukukhumula (“unclothing”), which refers to the final stage of the cleansing ceremony performed at the end of an extended period of mourning. The performance, featuring 13 performers, will be installed in the Mayor’s Chambers in the City Hall. Chuma Sopotela’s Inkukhu ibeke iqanda (“the chicken has laid its eggs”) and Tebogo Munyai’s searing look at mining provide idiosyncratic takes on the black body as a site of contestation and decomposition. From London, Brian Lobel explores the mortal, vulnerable body in a moving work around his own experience of cancer, while Annemi Conradie’s collaboration with John Wayne Stevens uses suspension, hanging the body from hooks pierced through the flesh, as a vehicle to explore the body’s limits. Providing a rousing and triumphant perspective on the human body, Andile Vellem, in Unmute, works with mixed ability performers in an unbridled, bold use of physicality and the deconstruction and reconstruction of wheelchairs to create images and narrative of startling beauty. Between Subject and Object, an exhibition curated by Penny Siopis, Kathryn Smith and Josephine Higgins, draws attention to the continuum between subject and object in the representation of death.

In a coup for the Festival, one of the African continent’s foremost practitioners of performance art, Jelili Atiku from Lagos, presents a new work Eleegba (Oginrinringinrin III), in a series entitled Abject Object. This series, which considers the use of the object as an extension of the body, includes the sculpture and puppetry of Jill Joubert in the poignant Apple Girl, while Alex Halligey animates found objects with human voices in Resound. In Eyes closed with piñata, the blindfolded Thalia Laric sets out to destroy a suspended, papier mâché buck-head to a contemporary reworking of Vaslav Nijinsky’s L’apres Midi d’une Faune.

Exploring diverse notions of Femininities, are mixed media works The Walk: South Africa, inspired by India’s Maya Krishna Rao, by Mothertongue Project director Sarah Matchett, writer Genna Gardini and performer Siphumeze Kundayi. Grahamstown-based Nomcebisi Moyikwa pushes contemporary dance language to extremes in the startling Caught, about two women caught in a half room with a single bulb as their only source of light. The Woman Who Walks on Knives is presented by UK-based Season Butler who, according to Dora Mortimer in a review of the SPILL Festival in London last year, “creates a cobweb-fine balance of danger and seduction and raises interesting questions about the nature of sacrifice in art”. Providing another perspective is Nigerian-American artist Wura-Natasha Ogunji, who presents a stirring site-specific endurance performance in collaboration with South African women, Can’t I just decide to fly? Completing the series will be Weaam Williams’ Ancestral Omega: The Medora, which explores the feminine narrative of the Cape Malayu people via the Medora, a traditional headdress. The work is multi-disciplinary, using performance, photography, video, graphic design, scripted narration and a Malay choir who will sing traditional Kaapse Nederlands wedding songs, accompanied by a Malay opera singer.

The Periphery as Threshold features Influences of a Closet Chant by Johannesburg-based Albert Khoza, which comes to the Festival straight after performances in Paris. The provocative Gavin Krastin’s Rough Musick explores archaic shaming rituals as a means to control and cohere. Adrienne Sichel wrote in The Star that the work embodies “elements of the mythical and the fantastical (which) intertwine with hard core reality, gender politics and textures of space and place.” In the South African premiere of Quartier Sud, Cameroonian artist Christian Etongo considers the movement of the illegal immigrant from the centre of home to the periphery in foreign countries. Richard September and Dann-Jaques Mouton’s Category Syndrome explores status, stereotypes and reclassification. Here marginalised communities are evoked as points of threshold, notions of which are also probed in The Place We Ran From by The Uninvited Artists, around clothing and the sexed physical body. Rounding off this series, Cabaret Crawl will take audiences to various clubs in Green Point, featuring a combination of Cape Town and London-based performance, drag and cabaret artists, directed by Brian Lobel and Season Butler.

The 2nd Live Art Festival will take place from 27 August to 6 September 2014. The detailed Festival programme is available on For more information, please contact the GIPCA office on +27 21 480 7156.

Swami Sitarama Dasa in conversation with Gael Reagon


To launch the new Chronic (a graphic issue), we’ll be having a special event this Friday 18 July at The Book Lounge, 71 Roeland Street, Cape Town:

Swami Sitarama Dasa, the black guru formerly known as Zebulon Dread (of Hei Voetsek!), in conversation with Gael Reagon. Excerpts from the new edition of the Chronic can be previewed at, including Binyavanga Wainaina in Dakar with Youssou N’Dour and Achal Prabhala‘s essay: the cosmic lives and afterlives of Zebulon Dread.

Copies of the new Chronic and back issues will be available to buy on the night.

Photo credit: Ingrid Masondo.

Wasafiri New Writing Prize – deadline Friday 25 July

The deadline for the Wasafiri New Writing Prize is fast approaching …

Wasafiri is looking for creative submissions in one of three categories: poetry, fiction and life writing. The competition is open to anyone worldwide who has not published a complete book in their chosen category.

To enter, simply complete an entry form and send it along with your work and entry fee to Wasafiri by 5pm GMT on Friday 25 July 2014. The word limit is 3000 for fiction and life writing entries and a maximum of 5 poems (other terms and conditions apply). The prize is £300 and publication in the magazine. This year’s judges are Susheila Nasta, Editor of Wasafiri, Bidisha, Inua Ellams and Monique Roffey.

For further details and the entry form look here.






New edition of the Chronic, focus on graphic stories. Out now!

Chronic covers

For the new issue of Chimurenga’s pan African gazette, the Chronic, the focus is on graphic stories; comic journalism. Blending illustrations, photography, written analysis, infographics, interviews, letters and more, visual narratives speak of everyday complexities in the Africa in which we live.

Binyavanga Wainaina meets Youssou N’Dour in Dakar, learns to swim in the Atlantic and runs into a foul-mouthed Neneh Cherry.

Michael Jackson makes a come back in Nigeria, where Native Maqari and Biyi Bandele also revision Chinua Achebe‘s Girls at War.

Turning the page, in Equatorial Guinea, Ramón Esono (AKA Jamón y Queso) dreams of President Obiang Nguema’s nightmare: to live a single day as an ordinary citizen. Meanwhile, Dudumalingani Mqombothi and Buntu Fihla return to South Africa’s Eastern Cape looking for former Ciskei ruler, Oupa Gqozo. In Harare, Fungai Machirori has an Independence Day date with Robert Mugabe.

Then, from the Namib desert in Angola to an interrogation room on US soil, Victor Gama searches for Augusto Zita and inadvertently uncovers South Africa’s nuclear weapons programme. Willem Boshoff produces practical language for politics and governance. Lesego Rampolokeng interviews Mafika Gwala.

Across the continent, Paula Akugizibwe battles border blues while Kangsen Wakai explores citizenship from a Cameroonian perspective. Vincent Plisson illustrates nationality codes further asking jus sanguinis or jus soli?

Honouring late fathers, we doff our caps to departed greats: Annie Paul on Stuart Hall, Gaspar Orozco on Manuel Ahumada, the hair architecture of J.D.Okhai Ojeikere, Peter Clarke and Percy Sedumedi‘s art.

Supplementing the broadsheet, Chronic Books explores comics and their makers. Nawel Louerrad shows Canan Marasligil her Algerian dances, Mogorosi Motshumi highlights (the lack of) Black Consciousness in South African comics, and Tony McDermott‘s dubwise cover art for Scientist gets a reload. Bharath Murthy, Rakesh Khanna, and Sudarshan Purohit critique India’s thriving comics industry.

Nigeria’s cartoon and comics traditions are examined through Akin Adesokan‘s recollections of the bootylicious Ikebe Super, and Uzor Maxim Uzoatu‘s quest to find the all-action superhero from African Film, Lance Spearman. Where is The Spear?



The Chronic also features a special 8-page insert: the lost issue of Hei Voetsek! A reawakening of Zebulon Dread‘s cult, handcrafted periodical featuring graphics by Cape Town’s art collective, Burning Museum.

Produced in Cape Town, Harare, Johannesburg, Nairobi, Lagos, London, Douala, Dakar, Accra, Kigali and Kolkota, and distributed globally, the Chronic seeks to write Africa in the present and into the world at large, as the place in which we live, love and work.


To order the Chronic (in print or as a PDF), visit Or our stockists around the world.




The Chronic is a quarterly pan African gazette, published by Chimurenga. For more information visit and/or contact Chimurenga on +27(0)21 4224168 or


The Chimurenga Chronic is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation and the Goethe-Intitut. Other project partners include Heinrich Böll Foundation, Keleketla!Cassava Republic Press, Glänta and Kwani Trust.


ksb_sw Kopie




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Read the Chimurenga Chronic in German


A special German-language edition of Chimurenga’s pan African gazette, the Chronic is now available.

The 68-page publication features translations of selected writings from the first 3 editions of the Chronic, with themes ranging from ways to overcoming borders to Astro/Afrosonics.

Contributors include Akin Adesokan, Jean-Pierre Bekolo, Parselelo Kantai, Jackie Lebo, Harmony Holiday, Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah, Yemisi Ogbe, Adewale Maja-Pearce, Ainehi Edoro, Agri Ismaïl, Florence Madenga, Elnathan John, Paula Akugizibwe, and many more.

Embedded within the broadsheet is a 12-page pull-out Chronic Books section with a collection of dispatches, examinations of the politics and practice of translation, and a declaration that “I’m not an African Writer, damn you!” As well as reviews of works by José Saramago, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Ed Pavlic, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

This German-language edition of the Chronic was produced in cooperation with the German Federal Cultural Foundation, Goethe Institute and Heinrich Böll Foundation.

Available in print and digitally from selected locations in Berlin or from our e-store.

For more information visit or contact Chimurenga on +27(0)21 4224168 or



Festac 77 programme

In 1977, thousands of artists, writers, and musicians from Africa and its diaspora descended on Lagos, Nigeria for the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC ’77).

Can a past that the present has not yet caught up with be summoned to haunt the present as an alternative? What is important here is not the reiteration of the actual past, but the persistence of what never actually happened, but might have.

Over a two-year research, exhibition and publishing project, we are investigating the legacy of FESTAC ’77, as well as presenting an opportunity for contemporary African creators to engage with its history

The first public presentation will be at San Francisco Public Library from May 24 – June 29 2014.

For more information: chimurengalibrary/festac-77

PASS presents Soul Housing Project live

On Tuesday 29th April, the Pan African Space Station (PASS) partners with Pro Helvetia Johannesburg to digitally broadcast a live performance curated by Bokani Dyer and Sakhile Moleshe (Soul Housing Project). This live music stream opens a window into musical conversations and audio experimentation happening now-now in Cape Town.

PASS Soul Housing Project live

Switch to for the live video broadcast: 21:00hr (CAT), Tuesday 29 April 2014.

Follow announcements via: Twitter: @Chimurenga_SA      Facebook: Chimurenga

Photojournalism and Documentary Photography Programme at Market Photo Workshop

Striking Marikana Miners, Rustenburg, South Africa © Sebabatso Mosamo, PDP 2012

1. About the Market Photo Workshop

Located in Newtown, Johannesburg, the Market Photo Workshop strives to create an environment where students learn, not only the technical and conceptual aspects of photography, but also ways of critical thinking integral to the understanding of contemporary photographic practice.

Equipping students with an extensive insight of the role photography plays socially, politically and in the wider cultural community, the Market Photo Workshop provides students with the vital tools needed to negotiate the urban terrain that is present-day Johannesburg.

Through its various endeavours and ongoing projects the Market Photo Workshop continues to make strong links with organisations both locally and internationally. Dedicated to the development and nurturing of new talent, the Market Photo Workshop fosters a rich culture in visual literacy for the furthering of photography in South Africa and Africa.

The Market Photo Workshop plays a crucial role in establishing new voices in South African photography. Alumni include: Jodi Bieber (seven times World Press Winner), other World Press winners like Themba Hadebe, and Sydney Seshibedi; and internationally acclaimed photographers such as Nontsikelelo Veleko and Zanele Muholi who has recently in 2013 been appointed Honorary Professor at the University of the Arts in Bremen, Germany.

History of the Market Photo Workshop

The Market Photo Workshop was started by world-renowned photographer David Goldblatt in the late eighties. At the outset, the aim was to provide visual literacy and practical training to young photographers who were excluded from formal training in tertiary education institutions by the policies of the government at the time.

The schools initial focus was on social documentary photography, a genre which would provide photographers entry into the media landscape, allowing them to create a viable career for themselves. This was the core of the curriculum, as photography as a social and political practice was an important strategy in documenting the socio-political landscape of apartheid South Africa.

Since then, the Market Photo Workshop has successfully adapted to the challenges of a new democratic dispensation, and the influences democracy has had on visual arts in South Africa. The Market Photo Workshop now offers short and long courses in photography, educating learners in all technical and practical aspects the medium.

The Market Photo Workshop is a division of the Market Theatre Foundation.

2. About Photojournalism and Documentary Photography Programme

The Photojournalism and Documentary Photography Programme (PDP) is a year-long course intended to address the needs of aspirant photojournalists from South Africa and further afield on the continent. Students who complete the programme are able to integrate themselves quickly and efficiently in newsrooms across a variety of media organisations (newspapers, picture agencies, radio stations with a presence on the web, etc) as photographers or in other capacities.

While applicants accepted into the course are required to have a demonstrable prior knowledge of photography from at least an intermediate level, they undergo rigorous training designed to bring their technical and conceptual skills to the level required of professional photojournalists. Students are further challenged to analyse and question photographic and social conventions, so as to report insightfully on their cultures and add depth to coverage of African issues.

The PDP begins mid-January and ends mid-December. It comprises four terms, with the third semester largely devoted to internships in which students gain work experience at news organisations in Johannesburg and elsewhere.

2.1. Core Subjects

  • Photojournalism (including multimedia components) : In this course students learn how to approach breaking and general news events, and how to tackle other assignments typically given to photojournalists
  • Documentary Photography:  This course enables students to embark on a year-long photographic assignment that is covered from various perspectives.
  • Technical and Digital Practice: During an intensive period of training at the start of the PDP, students are drilled in photographic and editing techniques.
  • Visual Culture Literacy: During this course, students learn how and why images have the effects that they do, and how interpretation of visuals is influenced by the background, knowledge and value system of an individual.
  • Media Practice: This course helps photographers gain confidence with the written word through introducing them to the basic principles of news and feature writing. Students are also given insights into current challenges with regard to journalistic ethics and freedom of expression.
  • Internships: For their work experience, students are placed at organisations across the media spectrum: daily and weekly newspapers, wire services and broadcasters that make use of multi-media
  • Protects: The Photo Workshop regularly joins forces with various groups to run projects that enable students to share their photographic and writing skills, and document issues of interest
  • Exhibition: The exhibition is a high point of the PDP: it gives students a showcase for their work, and raises the profile of the PDP in the photographic arena.

2.2. Important information for applicants:

  • The PDP welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds, including:
  • Practising photojournalists and documentary photographers who would like to hone their skills
  • Persons with recognised prior learning in photography who wish to advance in the fields of photojournalism and documentary photography
  • Graduates in media studies or related fields
  • Passionate people with a talent for photography
  • Persons applying for the PDP should have demonstrable prior knowledge of photography from at least an intermediate level, and a reasonable command of English
  • Entry-level professional cameras and other equipment can be rented from the Market Photo Workshop by students who do not have access to these resources. Learners are required to pay deposits for each piece of equipment that they book out, and their use of equipment is closely monitored

2.3. Time frames and costs:

  • The PDP is a year-long course, beginning mid-January and ending mid-December
  • The course runs full-time from Mondays to Fridays, 09h00 to 17h00
  • Fees for the 2014 PDP have been set at R30 000
  • Bursaries may be made available to candidates who can clearly demonstrate financial need. Recipients of financial aid are required to do bursary duties that may require their presence at the school after hours and over weekends
  • Equipment rental fees (in the form of refundable deposits) are currently set as follows:
  • Digital camera: R450
  • Tripod: R100
  • Voice recorder: R150

For more info please log on to : 

Call proposals for a transdisciplinary residency at Utopiana, Geneva

Nature, adversity, etc. – A call for proposals for a transdisciplinary residency at Utopiana (Geneva, Switzerland). 

The propositions may be comprised of artistic projects in different media, workshops, or other forms of interventions.
Utopiana is developing its activities around three axes: artist residencies, “Plantopic” – a research and gardening project – and a public event entitled “The Beast and Adversity,” the latter to be held in 2015.

In 2013 an urban garden, created by artists and neighbors of the residency, integrated itself into Utopiana’s universe. At present we are launching an open call for propositions for residencies in this context. The garden is a microcosm that allows us to question the old couple of nature and culture.

Contrary to the preconception of “the artist-genius,” which inspired romanticism with the conviction that “the contemplation of nature can bring us to understand the deep meaning of things,” Utopiana invites interested persons to take part in the residency to follow “the secret life of plants.” In addition to the workspace traditionally offered by the residency, a garden parcel of 5m2 will also be available as a space of experimentation in the community garden “Pote à Jean.” This call for those who believe themselves able to contribute to the subject at hand and who are ready to enter into a dialogue with the garden and its occupants.

This residency will be accompanied by the research group Plantopic, which bases itself around permaculture seen as an attitude and alternative form of social construction. In this same direction, Plantopic’s research is concerned with seeing art mediation as the creation of a milieu, an intermediary, but also an environment, a context, and “producing knowledge that contributes to writing our history differently….”

The residency is organized in view of an event that will take place in 2015, “The Beast and Adversity.” The notion of adversity refers to the fundamental ambiguity of our existence, which results in our desire to possess and master nature, when in fact nature possesses and masters us at least as much. In this way, in the heart of our being and in our environment there lives a force that makes us as much as it escapes us. The question that guides us in this project is thus: If nature is neither a reservoir of resources to exploit, nor an inert space to possess, nor an ensemble of mechanisms to master, how then might we come to terms with it? In this research we aim to question our relationship with nature constructed economically, culturally, and politically, and to explore alternative practice and thought in these subjects.

Interested candidates are asked to send by e-mail an application file consisting of a portfolio, CV, availability for a residency between March 2014 and March 2015 (maximum three months), as well as a motivation letter of 500 words or less. For more information, write to

Deadline: 31 January 2014.

For more about Utopiana, please see our website