Explore this week.
It’s not what you’re thinking. This is not some buzzfeed list of “19 of our favourite jacuzzi spots in the Himalayan mountains” or “11 ways to tell if your cat is inheriting your generational trauma” It’s not even a listicle of “Top 10 desktop backgrounds to serve as a reminder of where you are not”.
Rather, look at this as a guide to our collection of meaning in motion. Here, is a celebration of the movers and shakers, the creators and the makers that pull us in and push us forward into their creative world. This is a roadmap of where to find some of whom we have connected with and some we have yet to still connect with. Their work continues to centre us back to what matters, to what is meaningful and for this, we would like to showcase and acknowledge their artistry and contribution to our community.
Consider this the first of many Creative Collections designed to spotlight a handful of our best local talent here in South Africa.
1. ‘UMAMA’ – FILM DIRECTOR & WRITER
There is something quite beautiful about youthful storytelling. A raw unruly account of history, without the wrinkles of inclination and tendencies of time. For this reason, ‘Umama’ breathes authenticity to the collective record of all South Africans. Written and directed by Johannesburg born Talia Smith, ‘Umama’ is an intimate short film inspired by the resilience of real people. It is a tribute to the unsung heroes of our childhood home: the gogos, the nannies, the aunties, the second mommies and for Talia, a visceral tribute to Susan.
Ignorance hides in confidence but knowledge comes from observing and empathising. Talia gives us the opportunity to delve into the ground to listen, to grow deeper with ‘Umama‘ and replace the surface dweller lifestyle.
Click here to watch ‘Umama‘.
2. ARTIST & PHOTOGRAPHER
Using printmaking mediums, charcoal drawings and paintings, Lindo is able to depict the strength of real people. Like many people (most certainly me), we are willing to run a full 42km marathon away from our past, whilst Lindo willingly dives into its deep end. The result is an entanglement of nostalgia and vulnerability. An absolute acceptance of the pull of the past and that push towards the future. Drawing on his rural upbringing, he captures his childhood township life through photography as he depicts the old and the new. He describes these recreated moments as personal, yet universal.
“’Whatever artistic indulgence we engage ourselves in, we (artists) must not be blind to the river of life within and around us, the social streams.”
3. ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Cut the men, we want the femme. Of course, we want to play on equal terms one day, but let us first ruminate on our independence and explore the femininity of our artistry. The Femmroom creates a playground for just that, it is not only a politically active participant of female empowerment via individual exhibitions but rather, it combines this with multifaceted layers of beautifully told stories, of which the author‘esses’ are the movers and shakers of South Africa’s matriarchal artistry. Created and co-ordinated by Kirsty Stunes (@kirstystunes) and Mikhalia Smith (@mikhailiasmithcomposer), Femmroom creates a space for important conversations to be held. A place where Femmestories can be told and breathtaking art can be transferred. As a platform that focuses on female artists, the idea is to learn how to harness the “power of femme expression within the creative industry.”
4. LIVE PERFORMANCE & EVENT VENUE
We know you might think a live acoustic version of Bieber’s collab with Lil whatever and DJ Khalgat would be just so authentic and raw, but let us introduce something better. Selective Live orchestrate the most sincere live performances in an event venue that combines the intimate feelings of being at home with the energetic connection of being at a concert. Selective Live is South Africa’s very own version of a tiny desk concert, where all you really need is a love for listening and a musical soul to partake in.
Sky Dladla & Blackroots Marimbas
I think we’ve got it wrong, we’ve been thinking of indie as a subculture that stands for ‘independent’. In the South African reality, indie rather stands for indigenous; where individuals exist only as a whole to a greater collective. Blackroots Marimbas is a neo-traditional indie band founded by African indigenous instrumentalist, Sky Dladla. Sky is a collector of conscious melodies and a teacher of unity who has chosen to preserve and promote indigenous instruments and culture and pass this knowledge along to children, giving them a life to look at beyond the streets.
When I was younger, I didn’t understand why I couldn’t grow up to be Pamela Anderson. I was certain that as I grew and changed, so would my natural salon looking hair, curvaceous hips, an unshy bust and of course my career as a certified baybe. Naturally, this didn’t happen judging by my curly black hair, fear of the ageing job security in being a baybe, and yes, all the rest too. If Cara’s artwork was around back then, the Anderson illusion would have been rightly shattered, no more Barbies and no more Baywatch. Much of her work is a satirical commentary on the commercialisation of beauty that creates an unrealistic standard to look up to. Here is an exposé where the message is simple: actually don’t look up, rather look down on these expectations. All those identifying as a woman within this context will read familiar lines and see familiar scenes as Cara turns beauty into the absurd and praise into ridicule. Further, her very material comes from collages cut out of magazines as well as the thoughts we all have but choose not to say. “I hope for these works to be looked at through a lens of humour, as well as a bit of sheer horror, so the viewer can feel what I felt making them.”
7. NEWS & MEDIA WEBSITE
The Daily Dose SA
I begin my daily scroll through pages of self-perpetuating irrelevance. I stumble upon an extremely significant and alarming article that all South Africans should have access to. Oh, it’s for subscribers only. Then perhaps I put on a channel 401 scoop. After only just a moment and it already has me seeing stars and stripes, or was it stallions and snipers? Maybe I’ll turn to channel 402’s Royal Parliamentary sitting, although this may possibly also be Jerry Springer… I’m sure our 403 must be the right… wait nevermind, it’s showing so-and-so’s weight loss journey again. There must be a news and media platform that gives accessible, easily understandable, and unbiased accounts of the important happenings of the world.
And here it is. A duo of journalists who bring the “Daily Dose of stories that matter”. The Daily Dose SA is a journalism platform on Instagram, bringing us what we need to know in an eloquent, succinct and understandable way.
8. SOCIAL EVENT
Speed Social Cape Town
When we say social media, we don’t actually mean the “social” bit. Getting to know someone online is an awkward sport, kind of like a stop-start Blue Bulls game. Or maybe like a slow tennis game, back and forth, sexy and inappropriate groans included. We actually just want the social back in social, without being seduced by the Ted Bundy’s of the world, or without some weather shit-chat on Summer’s latest schizophrenic episode. Speed Social Cape Town is a connector of dots, coordinator of magical evenings and a wholesome and authentic social engagement. Come together for an evening to engage creatively, personally and intentionally with one another, this promises be a truly unique experience of human connectivity.
9. FREELANCE ILLUSTRATOR
Adekunle Adeleke is a Nigeria based visual artist. He has been perfecting his skills in black portraiture over the past several years. He blends elements of traditional African Ankara patterns with surrealist compositions to create stunning images. His work often depicts black women and men in dignified and beautiful poses. Adekunle Adeleke creates digital surrealist paintings that highlight African beauty at its best and brightest. Apart from his love for art, he is also a medical doctor in his spare time.
10. CHARITY ART AUCTION
The ultimate quid pro quo of work in pro bono. Artists4equity is a charity art auction whereby artists donate their work to be auctioned off on A4E’s Instagram page, with the proceeds going towards one of the many listed charities. A rendition of “you hold me up, I hold you up,” whilst also promoting the artists’ work, contributing towards charitable causes, and not to forget, also an overjoyed (or adrenaline high) highest bidder. Either way, everyone comes out a winner in the end.