AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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Thursday, July 31st, 2014

The Naked Woman on Nelson Mandela Square

On Monday, a woman walked towards the giant Mandela statue at Nelson Mandela square in Sandton, Johannesburg and stripped naked until security guard came to remove her as demonstrated in the cellphone images that were captured and distributed on social media by bystanders. It is not clear who this woman is or why she did

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Lesego Rampolokeng’s Elegy To Robo The Technician

“Raise your hand up if you’re a hip-hop head” said Lesego Rampolokeng, rallying a house full of poets at a gathering in Melville on a wet Sunday afternoon in 2013. I put mine up, as did a few...

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

‘Dreams Close To Home’: In search of the perfect wall to paint in South Africa

Sometime last year, I attended an exhibition opening entitled “Dreams Close To Home” at the Two by Two Art Studio in Newtown, Johannesburg. It was the culmination of a self-initiated project by the artists Lisolomzi Pikoli (Fuzzy Slipperz, illustrator),...

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Why Is No One Else Talking About These Musicians?

I got the chance to be part of the Redbull Basscamp in Johannesburg during October 2013. For six days, a unique cross-section of hand picked South African musicians holed up in central Johannesburg for lectures from music industry heavyweights in...

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Rap Battle of the Week on Reddit: Johannesburg’s Tumi vs Atlanta’s Ness Lee

Two weeks ago, Club Zen in downtown Johannesburg got packed to its rafters with hip-hop afficionados who came by the carloads to support Scrambles4Money, a South African battle rap circuit established in 2012. The auspicious Talk is...

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Everybody needs good neighbours (except “those Nigerians”)

Vocativ, is what some trust for a news source in the United States. An American news-aggregator accessing the ‘deep web’ for information in a bid to report the world in slick packaging that uses dramatic music and...

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

#Photojournal: Back To The City Festival

Back To The City is a hip-hop and street fashion festival held in Johannesburg’s Newtown Precinct every year on April 27th, South Africa’s Freedom Day. The festival has seen unprecedented growth since its inception in 2006. From...

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

The everyday lives of African immigrants in South Africa

The experience of African immigrants living in South Africa has previously been portrayed through images of violence, deportation and police brutality. Local photographer, Sydelle Willow Smith, attempts to challenge these visual stereotypes in her exhibition Soft Walls...

Friday, February 7th, 2014

The ‘Born Free Generation’

The Fader (yes, they're still around) has been putting up a series of posts from Johannesburg (Obey You Collective: South Africa) that focuses on "artists, trail-blazers, and bright young talents from South Africa." (The series is paid...

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Muntu Vilakazi photographs the ‘Politics of Bling’ on Johannesburg’s East Rand

Muntu Vilakazi is an established photojournalist currently employed by City Press in Johannesburg. Today marks the opening of his first solo exhibition, which runs through March 16 at Goethe On Main in the trendy and controversial Maboneng...

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Ponte City: A Photobook

Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse’s ‘Ponte City’ will be familiar to many. The photographic project began in 2008 and won the Discovery Award at the Rencontres d’Arles festival in 2011. This month, Steidl published the project as...

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Vintage Cru: Challenging the Status Quo in South Africa with Dance

In the South African entertainment hierarchy, dancers are not usually considered to be at the top of the pile. DJs, singers and soapie stars often command greater audiences. Yet there’s a dance group out there that’s changing...

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Street Photography in Johannesburg: Akinbode Akinbiyi

I love the way that Nigerian photographer Akinbode Akinbiyi works. I mean his approach to photography and the way that he uses his camera. At least in the video below, he's shooting with a Rollei Twin Lens...

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Anthony Bourdain goes to South Africa

In a recent episode of his CNN "Parts Unknown," the American chef and writer Anthony Bourdain traveled to South Africa. In my mind at least, this episode was long overdue and in fact, I've even said so...

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Johannesburg: where criminals don’t discriminate, property developers do

Johannesburg is all those things big cities are: Busy, big, mad, bad, mixed and moneyed. If not moneyed then on the constant overhaul and remix of the hustle and grind. When I was back I stayed in...

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

How we tell stories about cities

A few weeks ago, Nigerian-American writer Teju Cole was the guest of the Troyeville Hotel book club in Johannesburg. Observing that the one constant in cities is that they change, Cole commented: “Cities are built on people’s...

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Who’s Been Sleeping in My House?

South African television is fascinating. Every evening, as part of an ongoing anthropological investigation into the workings of the South African national consciousness, I take my dinner with an episode of 7de Laan (7th Avenue), a popular Afrikaans soap...

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

“We’ve got Ferraris in Africa, what they gon’ say now?”

About 2 months ago, the filmmakers Rod Stanley and Chris Saunders posted a video entitled "JOBURG PARTY! A snapshot of South Africa's new youth underground" on video sharing site, Vimeo. The video was accompanied by this description:...

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

South African Low-Fi Freedom

South African video footage has been freed from the annals of the archives housing our past on VHS. A remix of South Africa’s past and present day is now available in a low-fi video clip collection from...

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Danny Hoffman’s photographs and mining in West Africa

While we seem to spend an enormous amount of virtual space at AIAC critiquing the ways that Africa and Africans are represented, we do so because we believe that it is possible to subvert expectations, to create...

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Africa is a Country TV is back: We interview Kenyan supergroup Just a Band

Apart from seeing our logo superimposed on a building in downtown Johannesburg, this is a good way to celebrate AIAC TV’s return to Youtube. We (well Dylan Valley) attended STR.CRD in Johannesburg last year. STR.CRD is South...

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

My Favorite Photographs N°12: Kelebogile Ntladi

The latest image-maker in the “Favorite Photographs” series is South African photographer Kelebogile Ntladi. Based in Johannesburg, Kelebogile uses her images to interrogate gender norms and unapologetically contribute to the establishment of new space for dynamic identities...

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Photographing Afcon 2013 in Yeoville, Johannesburg

On a recent trip to Johannesburg (which is in Gauteng Province), a couple of friends decided to invade a Congolese restaurant in Yeoville; Kin Malebo on 31 Raleigh Street in Yeoville. The game was between DR Congo...

Friday, December 7th, 2012

“This is not Pantsula”

I got a treat when I was in Johannesburg recently. I was about to jump into a cab when this van pulls up and out piled these colorfully clad kids. With their exit came the loud blasting...

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

The Sartorialist goes to Johannesburg, and likes what he sees

Scott Schuman, better known for his blog The Sartorialist and as a street style photographer, took some heat after accepting an invitation to Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg and being underwhelmed by what he saw. Instead he...

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Running with white people

Two weeks ago, I was part of a 20 000 person strong crowd that participated in the Sophomore Nike Run Jozi. The first one was a 10km run (with an extra kilometer or so) through the Johannesburg...

Monday, October 15th, 2012

“This is My Route!” Race, Entitlement and Gay Pride in South Africa

It’s been a week since the now infamous events of the Joburg Pride Parade, where the organization One in Nine attempted to disrupt the parade in order to protest both systemic violence targeting black lesbians in South...

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

When W magazine went to Johannesburg

Praise be to W magazine for its vanguardism! They have finally and single-handedly put the rest of the world on to how hip, cosmopolitan, and modern the city of Johannesburg truly is! At long last someone has...

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Gay Shame

Dear Tanya Harford and Jenny Green, At 3am in my hotel room last night, jetlagged and sleepless, I was dawdling online and read about the confrontation at Johannesburg Pride between you and a group of black lesbians...

Monday, October 1st, 2012

My favorite photographs N°8: Sydelle Willow Smith

Among the most striking portraits in South African photographer and filmmaker Sydelle Willow Smith’s online portfolio are those taken in the Western Cape, reflecting much of what Cape Town and the wider province stand for: the engaging...

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