is an Italian philosopher best known for his work investigating the concepts of the state of exception and homo sacer. The concept of biopolitics informs many of his writings. Agamben was educated at the University of Rome after which he participated in Martin Heidegger’s Le Thor seminars on Heraclitus and Hegel.
Jannous Nkululeko Aukema
is a filmmaker and composer based in South Africa. He has worked in a wide range of genres and forms, from narrative fiction to documentary, theatre and multi-media installation. His compositional and cinematic work has garnered wide critical acclaim, including the FNB Art Prize, several SAFTA’s and extensive international film festival tours. His work pivots around the themes of ancestral memory, social-justice, migration and post-coloniality.
Malaika wa Azania
an award-winning writer, is the bestselling author of critically acclaimed Memoirs of a Born Free: Reflections on the Rainbow Nation and the recently published Corridors of Death: The Struggle to Exist in Historically White Institutions. She is a pan-African activist, an avid reader and feminist Geographer whose research is focused on urban spatiality and food security.
Sergio Henry Ben
is a writer-editor living his best life in one of the few remaining white areas in Cape Town – Observatory. His neighbours despise him. He is also desperately trying to write himself better. Also, he’s determined to get the land back through Grindr assignations. Posh word, neh?
was an Austrian writer who explored death, social injustice, and human misery in controversial literature that was deeply pessimistic about modern civilization in general and Austrian culture in particular. Bernhard was born in a Dutch convent; his mother, unwed at the time, had fled there from Austria to give birth. After a year, she returned to her parents in Vienna, where her father, writer Johannes Freumbichler (1881–1949), became the major influence on Bernhard. After surviving a life-threatening coma and repeated hospitalizations (1948–51) in tuberculosis sanatoriums, Bernhard studied music and drama in Salzburg and Vienna.
Danford Tafadzwa Chibvongodze
is a Zimbabwean native who has just completed his PhD studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is a collector of music and has an ear for good music. In his spare time, Danford listened to the originators of Zimbabwean sound such as the likes of Leonard Dembo, Thomas Mapfumo, Jonah Sithole, Simon Chimbetu, System Tazvida, Solomon Skuza, Lovemore Majaivana, Don Gumbo, Oliver Mtukudzi. He has also been a follower of rap music since its golden era in the 90s.
Professor Of English, George And Joyce Wein Chair In African American Studies, Director Of The African American Studies Program at Boston University is a writer and scholar whose work includes the award-winning, The Last Darky: Bert Williams, Black on Black Minstrelsy and the African Diaspora (Duke University Press, 2006), The Sound of Culture: Diaspora and Black Technopoetics (Wesleyan University Press, 2016) and the acclaimed memoir, Floating in A Most Peculiar Way (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021). He is the Editor in Chief of The Black Scholar, one of the oldest and leading journals of Black Studies. He is also the founder of the international sonic art/archiving project, Echolocution, which is focused on recording sites of historical trauma and commemoration; and has collaborated with numerous artists, performers, and programmers on projects focused on sound, culture, technology and Artificial Intelligence.
is a freelance writer and photographer based in Stanford in the Overberg. His spoken-word band The Buckfever Underground has a new EP out called Satelliet. Toast is also the co-editor of poetry zine Ons Klyntji, and he is a volunteer DJ on community station Bush Radio – catch his show The Unhappy Hour on Sundays between 6-8 pm on 89.5 FM (Cape Town) or online at www.bushradio.co.za. Follow him on Instagram @toastcards and his band @thebuckfeverunderground.
(1939-1998) wrote the insightful Mosques of the Bo-Kaap: A Social History of Islam at the Cape (1980), a work that offered a detailed view of how the forebears of this Muslim community contributed in making the upper portion of Cape Town – popularly known as the Bo-Kaap – a vibrant and lively area. Davids also penned his informative The History of the Tana Baru (1985) and a wide selection of some of his salient writings were inserted in Pages from Cape Muslim History (1994), which he co-authored with Yusuf da Costa. Davids’s most significant research focused on the Cape Muslims’ linguistic tradition. Davids’s research outlined the way this community’s forebears constructed and linguistically engineered the language they used in their homes and marketplace during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was only in the 1990s that the Afrikaans-speaking community in general and the Cape Muslims in particular came to realise Davids’s contribution to the development of the Afrikaans language.
is a sub-editor in the Mail & Guardian’s supplements department who occasionally puts pen to paper. He has irons in many metaphysical fires – music, mantras, mortality and moustaches. He has recently published his memoir, Three Foot Tiger.
is a writer and researcher with interests in media and cultural studies. He is a contributing author to the book We Are No Longer at Ease, edited by Busani and Wandile Ngcaweni, and has articles and poems published in a variety of multidisciplinary journals/magazines including New Coin Poetry, Badilisha Poetry, Ntinga Journal, and iLiso Magazine. Born in Kwazakhele, eGqeberha, he currently resides in Johannesburg.
is a contemporary artist working across a multiplicity of platforms and media, her primary research interest is in absence of presence and how it influences (mis-)interpretation. Decentering the Archive: Visual Fabrications of Sonic Memories is the working title of an interdisciplinary practice-based research project that engages archival material of DOMUS (Documentation Centre for Music) to create audiovisual media for a conceptual art installation.
is a filmmaker and writer. From 1988 to 1995 he worked as a curator and deputy director for the Netherlands Filmmuseum (now Eye Film Institute) in Amsterdam. He makes films in many genres: found footage (Lyrical Nitrate, Diva Dolorosa), documentary (In Loving Memory; Immer Fernweh) and features (The Forbidden Quest, Felice…Felice…). He made several found footage installations. For the Cinedans festival he wrote a blog on found choreography, the dance version of found footage (see). He published travel stories, essays on cinema and art and four novels. His most recent publication in Dutch is the book length essay The Forgotten Evil. The Memories of Jonas Mekas (the English version will probably be published in 2022).
is an independent writer, researcher and editor working at the interface between visual and literary culture. She has worked on a vast range of projects, from newspapers and magazines, to novels, public art programmes, digital archives, mixed media installations, website content architecture and monograph essays. Dodd is a vegan.
completed her master’s degree (cum laude) at Stellenbosch University in March 2017. Her master’s research focused on documenting the life and works of three composers who have strong ties to Genadendal, the first mission station in South Africa. Inge’s current PhD research is focused on the Afrikaans koortjie tradition in the coloured churches of the Western Cape, a tradition that is part of the cultural narrative of a community that is a largely unexplored field of research. Inge is currently part of the research team of the project called The Genadendal Music Collections Catalogue (GMCC) that aims to create a fully accessible online database of the music collections kept in the Moravian Mission Museum in Genadendal.
is a visual artist and musician whose work focuses on SA`s indigenous people, the KhoiSan, which is his heritage. Originally from the Eastern Cape he now lives and works in Kraaifontein (outside Cape Town). He taught at the Zonnebloem Children`s Art Centre, District Six in Cape Town, from 1982-1997. In 2005 he was the (temporary) Arts Education Officer at the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town. He is a former chairperson of Africa South Art Initiative (ASAI) and during the 80`s and 90`s was an active member of the art projects Vakalisa and Community Reflections. he is one of the founding artists of Greatmore Street Artists Studio, and the Thupelo Artists Workshop. Garth is part of the activist music and poetry group, Khoi Khonnexion, who toured European music theatre festivals in 2018-19 with the production House of Falling Bones which is based on the Namibian genocide of the Nama and Herero people by the German colonialists. He is also part of the free-jazz group As Is and Riempie Vasmaak. Garth’s sonic collaboration with flutist Esther Marié Pauw enacts forms of decolonial aesthesis, and interventionist curating amidst publics, institutions, art, and music-making. In 2020 Garth initiated the Africa Open Improvisation Collective at Stellenbosch University`s Africa Open Institute (AOI) and, during the Covid-19 lockdown, this collective maintained weekly Zoom music-making sessions. Garth is also a member of the Khoisan Gypsy Band whose theatre production Die Poet Wie`s Hy? on the work of Adam Small won Best Production at the Woordfees 2020. Garth`s visual art has been extensively collected by the Smithsonian Institute of African Art in Washington, USA, but he is not represented in the collections of any South African institution or collection.
holds the Endowed Chair of Music History at the University of Texas at Austin. He studied musicology, sociology, anthropology and philosophy in Berlin and Cologne, where he obtained a Dr.phil. in 1978 and did a Habilitation in musicology in 1989 and in anthropology in 1994. He has done fieldwork in Ecuador and in several African countries such as Cameroon, Niger, Ghana, South Africa and Lesotho. Currently he is doing research in West Sumatra, Indonesia. Among his publications are African Stars, Studies in Black South African Performance and Nightsong, and Performance, Power and Practice in South Africa, both published by the University of Chicago Press. His most recent book, Music, Modernity and the Global Imagination, published by Oxford University Press won the Alan P.Merriam Prize for the best English-language monograph in ethnomusicology.
Andrea Leigh Farnham
I am Andrea Leigh Farnham. I am a mom, a wife, a therapist, a business owner & a long-term renter in the Eastside community of Athens, Georgia, USA. As a therapist I see the struggles families go through when under the stress of poverty and discrimination. I look around my community and I see the fruits of 8.5 Billion dollars in wealth that Athens controls and the pains of a 34% poverty rate that commission after commission refuses to address. I am running for District 8 County Commissioner to address the racial, social, and economic inequalities within Athens and District 8. I am not afraid to tell anyone and everyone why and how racial inequality needs to be addressed in the city of Athens.
is a music graduate from the University of Stellenbosch where she spent her final year studying South African music copyright under the guidance of Dr Carina Venter. She will continue to explore this topic under the supervision of Dr Lizabé Lambrechts as Masters fellow and archival intern at HYMAP.
is an extraordinary associate professor at AOI. She writes about white musical aesthetics in South Africa, mainly through the lens of boeremusiek—a marginal and much-stigmatized genre of South African folk music. She coedits the journal SAMUS: South African Music Studies.
healer. poet. publisher. Vangile Gantsho is one third of impepho press, an intersectional feminist press with a Pan Afrikan agenda. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University Currently Known as Rhodes, is a graduate of the Pioneer Class of the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute and was named one of Mail & Guardian’s Top Young 200 South Africans of 2018. She is the author of two collections: Undressing in front of the Window (2015) and red cotton – which was named City Press Top Poetry Read of 2018.
Lucy Valerie Graham
has a doctorate in English literature from the University of Oxford, and MA, BA Honours, and BA degrees from the university currently known as Rhodes. Her first monograph, State of Peril: Race and Rape in South African Literature, was published in 2012 by Oxford University Press. She is also the author of more than 30 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, with more forthcoming, and is working on two new monographs, on J.M. Coetzee and gender, and one entitled “Post-apartheid Dissonance”, about the cultural politics of post-“rainbow nation” South Africa. She is co-editor, with Andrew van der Vlies, of the Bloomsbury Companion to J.M. Coetzeee (forthcoming 2022). In April 2018 she toured universities in the USA with a group of students from the University of the Western Cape who presented on “Fallism and the cultural politics of decolonisation.” She is based in the English Department at the University of Johannesburg.
is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. She received her B. A. from Wesleyan University (1984) and her Ph.D. from Yale University (1992). Professor Hartman’s major fields of interest are African American and American literature and cultural history, slavery, law and literature, and performance studies. She is on the editorial board of Callaloo. She has been a Fulbright, Rockefeller, Whitney Oates, and University of California President’s Fellow. She is the author of Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-making in Nineteenth Century America (Oxford University Press,1997) and Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route (Farrar,Straus and Giroux, 2007). She has published essays on photography, film and feminism.
Khadija Tracey Heeger
is a poet, actor and writer involved in a range of writing, acting and other cultural projects. Her first collection of poetry, Beyond the Delivery Room, appeared in 2013 (Modjaji Books). Her work includes the multimedia poetic/theatre pieces, Stone Words (commissioned in 2007 for Spier) and Uhadi (Paris, 2013 Festival d’Automne, with Toni Stuart, Ncebakazi Mnukwana and Christopher Ferndale). Heeger has appeared in the drama series Sarah se Geheim (Kyknet), as well as in Ellen: The Ellen Pakkies Story. She continues working with Jazzart, her most recent performance with them, Cape of Ghosts, having featured at the 2019 Grahamstown Arts Festival.
Dr Sarah Henkeman
is an independent conflict and social justice researcher and practitioner. Prior to, during and after the end of apartheid, she worked for public interest, human rights, community safety and conflict resolution organisations while studying part and full-time over several years. She is a trans-disciplinary practitioner/scholar with a research focus on invisible and visible aspects of violence (i.e. symbolic-structural-psychological-physical violence).
Steven Craig Hickman
is a philosopher blogger; very intelligent guy in terms of articulation; a prolific Facebook blogger, and has his own WordPress blog as well: Social Ecologies —the latter’s first post dating from September 2012. He sometimes blogs about Nick Land, and occasionally has commented on Nick Land’s Weblog Xenosystems.
Emile YX? Jansen
was born Emile Jansen in Grassy Park in Cape Town, and is credited with creating the oldest, still-active, hip-hop crew in South Africa, back in 1988, the legendary Black Noise. Emile’s mom is a teacher and his dad a prominent soccer coach, having groomed former national team players such as Quinton Fortune. In case you think the ‘YX?’ is just another stunt to make his stage name sound fancy, he actually has a “conscious reason behind it”. “In the 1990s when hip-hop started taking more of a conscious swing I changed my performance name to Emile YX? Because people were following the likes of [US revolutionary] Malcom X but were just randomly using the ‘X’. So I asked YX? (Why ‘x’?) I always felt it was necessary to ask questions,” he explains.
is a scholar of heritage, archives and public culture based at the University of Cape Town. He lives and works between Cape Town and Berlin, Germany.
is a feminist, but on the dawn of her 25th birthday, she has become the female stereotype: she does not mention her age, ever. She tries her luck in restaurants with the Kiddies menu (sometimes it actually works!). And she takes offense when they don’t ask for her ID at the liquor store. She calls herself a short story writer in Afrikaans and English. She holds a BA degree, majoring in Afrikaans, English and Anthropology, so of course, she is severely unemployed. Julius won the South African Academy for Arts and Sciences Chancellor’s Award for Prose in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and the Academy’s Award for Poetry in 2015. She was the first to win this award more than once as well as both categories. She was awarded the K and L Prize for African Literature in 2019 for her short story The Honeybee. She is currently busying herself with a B.A. Honours Degree in Afrikaans and participating in a creative writing course on narrative medicine and medical humanities at the University of Iowa. Julius is also the mother of a five-year-old who she wanted to teach to live outside of societal norms and standards, that is, until he wanted to wear a jacket during summer to look “pretty” and when she told him that he, in fact, did not look “pretty” he counter-argued that beauty is subjective.
is an interdisciplinary social practice artist, researcher, and vinyl selector based in Johannesburg. With a background in anthropology, religious studies and photography, her work is concerned with the relationship between aesthetics, frequency, concealment and fugitivity in the settle (post) colony. Working with sound, video, performance and objects, Zara Julius’ practice involves the collection, selection, collage and creation of archives (real or imagined) through extensive research projects. The bulk of Zara’s projects have focused on mapping the sonic and spiritual mobilities of rapture and rupture with congregants of syncretic religious practices in Africa and Latin America, and on (post)apartheid narratives around race and place as they pertain to intimate archiving practices.
is curator and editor of herri.
Ronelda S. Kamfer
entered Afrikaans literature like a Guy Fawkes’ rocket at Pentecost. This remarkable poet was born in 1981 to parents who lived in Blackheath in the Cape. At the age of three, she went to stay with her grandparents, labourers on a Grabouw fruit farm. At ten, she returned to her parents in Blackheath and later moved to Eersterivier on the Cape Flats where she encountered firsthand the legendary gang culture. Kamfer’s poetry was hailed when she was in her mid-twenties as fresh, artless, raw and intelligent. Her best poems create a sense of inevitable expression, as if, despite the manifest freshness, they have existed since the beginning of time. Kamfer sheds a harsh light on the still marginalised life of South Africa’s “brown communities”. This shines on the racial faultline that continues to divide Afrikaner culture and on that uneasy territory where the Afrikaans language was integrated into the so-called Coloured community long before white Afrikaners claimed it as the flagship of their nationalism and identity.
holds an MA in creative writing (with distinction) from Rhodes University. She wears many hats which include being a journalist, children stories author, creative writer and early childhood program facilitator. Her children’s story ‘Hair Magic’ was featured on the Nal’ibali Radio stories, Season 5. She is also a contributing creative content creator for a foundation language education app MenjikPot. Mbali’s lived-experiences influence her work as well as her everyday praxis which includes learning and teaching in Black Consciousness Pan-Afrikanist organizations such as Black House Kollective and Ebukhosini Solutions.
spent 43 years at Unisa teaching musicology, several of them as Chair of Art History, Visual Arts and Musicology. During his last decade at Unisa he helped restructure a BMus curriculum that included innovative compulsory modules introducing students to a variety of musics, such as African compositional resources, jazz, music and gender, and music in religion. Until his retirement from his post as music director at Christ Church Arcadia in 2019 George had been actively involved in choral singing for almost half a century. He established solo vocal ensembles with repertoire stretching over nine centuries, and for several years coached choirs in South Africa and eSwatini in preparation for regional and national choral competitions.
is a veteran exponent of oppositional culture, is a novelist, filmmaker, and media critic. He has collaborated with Sherry Millner on photo-text projects and many films including Rock the Cradle on the December ’09 uprising in Greece and How Do Animals and Plants Live?, on the demolition of a self-organized migrant squat in Thessaloniki, and 41 Shots , the first film to skewer the racist ‘broken windows’ theory of policing that underpinned the notorious murder of Amadou Diallo in New York City. He co-curated Disruptive Film: Everyday Resistance to Power, two DVD sets of short-form experimental political films from 26 countries. His most recent book is The Trial Before the Trial (Autonomedia, 2108).
is a PhD student in the Department of Comparative Literature (with a specialization in Philosophy, Literature, and Theory of Criticism) at Binghamton University in upstate New York. She is a Fulbright scholar from Cape Town, South Africa, and a member of the Azanian Philosophical Society
was born in 1959 in a non musical or literary French family. He found himself in love with jazz after attending a duet: Archie Shepp with Max Roach in Paris, 1976. Since 2005, he writes simply as an amateur about South African jazz in Improjazz, a French jazz magazine. His main aim is to make a better knowledge of South African jazz (history, main dead or living players) among French readers of this magazine. So, he has been six times in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg.
George Lewis is the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music at Columbia University, where he serves as Area Chair in Composition and Faculty in Historical Musicology. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, Lewis’s other honors include a MacArthur Fellowship (2002) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2015), a Doris Duke Artist Award (2019), a United States Artists Walker Fellowship (2011), an Alpert Award in the Arts (1999), and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Lewis studied composition with Muhal Richard Abrams at the AACM School of Music, and trombone with Dean Hey. A member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) since 1971, Lewis’s work in electronic and computer music, computer-based multimedia installations, and notated and improvisative forms is documented on more than 150 recordings. His work has been presented by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonia Orchestra, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, Mivos Quartet, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, London Sinfonietta, Spektral Quartet and many others. Lewis received the 2012 SEAMUS Award from the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States, and his book, A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music (University of Chicago Press, 2008) received the American Book Award and the American Musicological Society’s Music in American Culture Award. Lewis is the co-editor of the two-volume Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies (2016).
is a ‘Plakkerskamp poet’, story-teller, sculptor and visual artist, indigenous music improviser, instrument maker, Khoesan cultural activist and community worker. Jethro writes and performs in Afrikaans and English and forms part of the Khoi Khonexxion, a group of poets and musicians brought together by their Hottentot heritage and desire to rewrite the distorted representation of the their people and their culture. Jethro has performed at host of events and festival both in South Africa and internationally including: The Wondergigs , Urban Voices , Grahamstown Word Festival, Riddu- Riddu Fest, Norway and Taiwan Migration Music Fest. In 2011 Jethro also collaborated with Catherine Henegan on an tour performance of the Cape Town City station entitled 1st Class Treasures – which was part of the Infecting the City – Cape Town 2011.
is one of South Africa’s most active and internationally acclaimed new music composers. She is best known for her ‘straight’ saxophone compositions and interdisciplinary collaborations, and has worked with a number of award-winning artists including William Kentridge, Gerhard Marx and Nandipha Mntambo. She has received numerous awards, grants and commissions from organisations such as the Mellon Foundation, SAMRO Foundation and performers such as Jill Richards, Ensemble Reconsil Vienna, Guy Yehuda and the Sounding Cities project. Clare lectured music theory and composition for many years at Wits University and was awarded a Doctorate of Music in 2009.
Dr Christine Lucia
is Extraordinary Professor in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Stellenbosch University and now at the Africa Open Institute. Before she retired in 2007, Lucia was Professor and Head of Music Departments at Wits, Rhodes, and Durban-Westville universities. In the first half of her career Lucia was a concert pianist and teacher, and in the second half, a teacher, researcher, editor, and supervisor. She has published many articles and book chapters on South African music, and two books: The World of South Africa Music: A Reader (2005) and Music Notation: A South African Guide (2011). After her retirement, Lucia focussed on research into composers Kevin Volans, Surendran Reddy, and J.P. Mohapeloa. Her work on Volans includes the first entry on a South African composer in the German Lexicon of contemporary composers, Komponisten Der Gegenwart (2013). Her online, digital Joshua Pulumo Mohapeloa Critical Edition in Six Volumes (revised 2016) is the forerunner of the Moerane Critical Edition project. The edition, which won an NIHSS award in 2018 for best digital community project, occupies more than 3000 pages online: 2500 pages of score and 500 pages of commentary. Lucia also produced a CD, African Choral Legacy: Historic Recordings of Joshua Pulumo Mohapeloa (2013) to accompany it.
is a Johannesburg- based artist and creative (BA Multimedia) whose work and subject matter is mostly based around the nature of the current conditions throughout the landscapes, He uses the artistic view as an expression to question and depict these conditions through Fine Art, Illustration, Digital Art & Design.
is a Durban-based vocalist and pianist. She is a Lecturer in the Jazz Studies programme at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, School of Arts (Music) and is the Project Manager of the UKUSA Arts Programme. She has performed and recorded extensively.
is a Durban-based trumpeter and pianist who has worked as a performer, composer and arranger for several years and regularly performs with the George Mari Quartet at KZN jazz venues as well as private and corporate functions. He holds a Master’s degree in Composition and Arrangement from the University of Natal, and was awarded a scholarship to study under the world-renowned trumpeter, Arturo Sandoval, at Florida International University. George was a member of the Cape Town Jazz Orchestra, initiated by Abdullah Ibrahim in 2004, and is co-ordinator of several community Arts projects. He has just finished composing the rhythmic soundscape that will be the Jomba festival’s theme music this year. For him his striving is that “Jazz is recognized for promoting peace, dialogue, diversity and respect for human rights; eradicating discrimination; promoting freedom of expression; fostering gender equality; and reinforcing the role of youth in enacting social change.”
Ernesto Garcia Marques
My name is Ernesto Garcia Marques, I am a 65 year old music fanatic. As I do not play any instruments or sing I got involved in music by promoting gigs, running a tape and CD label and writing and editing a fanzine, Sound Action, which I did back in 1990/1991. Last year, 2020, when the Covid-19 lockdown hit South Africa I decided to interview all the local and international musicians I knew and post them on my own Facebook group, Jive Talking and Eyeballing. To date I have posted close to 100 interviews and these are going to be edited and expanded for a book that will be published later in 2021 or early 2022.
is a journalist, writer and publisher. He was educated at Kwamanala High in Mpumalanga and Wits University in Johannesburg. His journalism career started in 1994 at the now defunct PACE magazine. He then joined Drum and later Sunday Sun as a senior writer. Mathe is a Mondi Paper Magazine Award finalist (1996). He is also a recipient of the Platinum Award (2007), bestowed by the music industry of Swaziland for his support of the gospel scene in that country. He is a founding editor and publisher of Jazz Life Magazine as well as contributing author of South Africa’s Greatest Entrepreneurs (MME Media/GIBS, 2010) and Brenda Fassie: I Am Not Your Weekend Special (Picador Africa, 2014). His latest role in the media includes writing articles that reflect South African cultural history and heritage.
is a political science post-graduate from University of Cape Town. During his tenure at UCT, Maxwele was awarded prestigious scholarships such as Andrew W. Mellow Scholarship, National Research Foundation Scholarship and Afro-Asia Scholarship. Maxwele is a Chevening Scholar. Maxwele’s interest are in activism, with a particular interest in Higher Education and Community Development. Maxwele’s involvement in the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), led to his deep appreciation of education and active citizenship for socio-political and socio-economic rights. On the 09th of March 2015, Maxwele threw human shit on the statue of Cecil John Rhodes, an act that gave birth to the #RhodesMustFall and subsequently the #FeesMustFall Student Movement in South Africa. Maxwele has presented at several national and international platforms on the state of political activism, Blackness, Black academics and students in the “post” Colonial and “post” Apartheid era.
lectures in English studies at Stellenbosch University. He writes short fiction, and his research interests are in South African post-apartheid literature, architecture and popular culture. He is a SALA-winning literary critic with the Johannesburg Review of Books. His short story The Bath is included in Twenty in 20, a collection of the twenty most significant short stories post-1994.
is an illegitimate child of Dambudzo Marechera and Brenda Fassie. He is nostalgic for a past he has never experienced and as a result listens to Jazz and drinks Zamalek. He is 20′ something but in his head he was born in 1976 a second before Hector Peterson was shot. He is a co-founder of Black Thought Symposium which is an art movement based in Johannesburg. He is committed to scholarship and the black radical tradition. Loves reading and abhors writing but once you read sometimes you just have to write. His favourite two words are ”Biko Lives”.
was born in Soweto and, during her teens, she toured South Africa and then England with the musical King Kong. She returned to South Africa at the end of the tour but was soon forced into exile in the United States. While in the states she was invited to tour with Cannonball Adderly and soon thereafter joined forces with Harry Belafonte. She married a fellow South African musician, Caiphus Semenya, whom she met while touring with King Kong and together they released many hits. She also acted in the film Roots for which she received an Emmy award. Her other screen appearances include A warm December with Sidney Pottier and The Colour Purple. She is a founding member of the South African Artists United (SAAU) an organisation which was established in 1986. In 1994 she released a new album entitled Not Yet Uhuru. The album was Letta’s first to be recorded in South Africa since her return and it was arranged and produced by her multi-talented husband Caiphus Semenya.
is a multi media artist who studied audio-visual art and sculpture at the Rietveld Academy of Fine-Arts in Amsterdam where he graduated cum laude in 1989. In 2018 he recieved an MAFA with distinction from Wits University. He works and collaborates on contemporary art installation pieces, sculptures, animation, motion graphics, film and video work that he exhibits/broadcasts nationally and internationally. He currently teaches Post Production at the Wits School of the Arts in Film & TV in Johannesburg. He is also part of the design team of herri.
has worked in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. With Edgar Pieterse, he has edited Voices of the Transition, a text dealing with key issues, crucial debates and hopeful visions regarding South Africa’s democracy. He is also author of Sideview, a collection of columns and articles dealing with transformation issues. In addition, Meintjies is co-founder of Isandla, a development think tank geared to enhancing innovation in development
South African Music Award Nominee; Standard Bank Ovation Award Recipient; Mail and Guardian Jazz Album of the year Recipient; Acclaimed South African artist; Tumi Mogorosi, is increasingly building a reputation in the South African jazz scene among the new crop of young jazz musicians and theorists of this interesting time.
He recorded his SAMA nominated debut album, Project Elo, which was released in 2014 and re-released in 2015, by an acclaimed London based Record company (JAZZMAN RECORDS). In 2016, Tumi Mogorosi recorded a duo album Sanctum Sanctorium with South African Vocalist, Gabi Motuba, during his Pro Helvetia Residency. Tumi also recorded a conceptual/theoretical project which is an interpretation of a written text by Frantz Fanon (psychologist, revolutionary, intellectual) called The Wretched (named after the book, The Wretched of the Earth). The outfit consists of the following: vocalist and sound scaper Gabi Motuba, Tumi Mogorosi on drums and sound artist Andre Van Wyk. This project explores sound through the lens of a shriek, a scream, a moment at the end of the limit of struggle. Mogorosi has also recently recorded a trio project in Bayreuth, Germany that explores piano and drums with an overlay of archival material from the Iwalewa research institute at the university of Bayreuth. DeAesthetic. Writing with and from the Black Sonic presents his essays which focus on the Black Sonic as a dislocated episteme, which identifies the aesthetic as a limitation. In their de-centring, the texts fundamentally open a way to write and read beyond hegemonic knowledge validations.
is a graduate of the Wilfred & Jules Kramer Law School at the University of Cape Town. They are currently writing their Masters in Rhetoric Studies at UCT on South African identity systems and are the Communications Manager at the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Kneo has been publishing since 2016 in Daily Maverick, The Cape Times, The Sunday Times, Amandla! Magazine and Hola Africa magazine and has published a chapter in We are No Longer at Ease: The Struggle for Free Education, and many other platforms.
studied piano with Prof Joseph Stanford and Ms Marian Friedman and organ with Prof SC Zondagh at Pretoria University. He completed his BMus degree in performance in 1992 and studied musicology at Unisa with Prof Bernhard van der Linde and Prof Niel Geldenhuys. In 1998 he was awarded a MMus from Unisa and a Master of Studies from the University of Oxford. In 2001 he received his DPhil from Oxford for a thesis on South African music and identity politics written under the supervision of Prof Roger Parker. Before joining Stellenbosch University in 2005, he lectured at the University of the Free State. From 2004-2006 he was the Chairman of the Musicological Society of Southern Africa. He has edited NewMusicSA and a guest issue of SAMUSon the music of Peter Klatzow. He is the co-editor of A Composer in Africa: Essays on the Life and Work of Stefans Grové (2005) and Gender, Sexuality and Music in South Africa (2004). Stephanus Muller is also publisher of herri.
David Mwambari PhD
is a Lecturer in African Security and Leadership Studies at the African Leadership Centre at King’s College London (UK). He is a Meaning-making Research Initiative (MRI) fellow at The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), He is also a core faculty at the Oxford Consortium for Human Rights. His research seeks to contribute to leadership, peacebuilding and security studies; the politics of knowledge production in sensitive contexts; and memory studies.
was born and bred in Cape Town, South Africa, raised by a single parent. He studied his lower grades and high school around where he lives, focusing in Dramatic Arts and Dance Studies at the Chris Hani Arts and Culture High School and matriculated in 2013. He went on to join Indoni Dance Arts & Leadership Academy 2014 and graduated in 2017. In 2019 he started his own smart gym using the only thing that was available to him, his land lord’s dirty garage with nothing but passion and the dream. He called his smart gym Healthy Garage Fitness focusing mostly on uplifting young girls and men in his community, currently the gym is a home to 27 youth members. This initiative came to life due to lack of healthy life style of his peers and elders around him.
is a law graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand. In 2016 she joined the Centre for Applied Legal Studies as a Legal Researcher in the Business and Human Rights unit. Anele is a published author, content creator and communications specialist.
is an independent South African photographer. His work revolves predominantly around themes of social inequality and people affected by conflict. He was the Chief Photographer and Picture Editor of the Sunday Times newspaper and is co-author of The Battle of Bangui (Penguin Random House, 2021). Oatway has received various international awards including multiple Pictures of the Year International (POYi) awards. In 2015 he was named the Vodacom South African Journalist of the Year. In 2018 his Red Ants project won the prestigious Visa d’or Feature Award at the Visa Pour l’image Photojournalism Festival in Perpignan, France.
is from Paarl, and teaches English and Film Studies at Stellenbosch University. He lives in Cape Town and likes to imagine its apocalyptic reckoning in his creative work. He writes plays, short stories and has released a few albums. He is in three or four bands at any time, all of them making original music and one of them shooting for Afrorock, in which Cape Town gets its apocalyptic reckoning. When he isn’t trying to figure out what coloured identity means, his academic writing tries to focus on post-truth, the attention economy and Cape Town’s apocalyptic reckoning.
is one of Kenya’s up and coming female artists. She is a Nairobi based artist who is inspired by her surroundings, as well as the waste materials on the streets of her city. Most of her artworks are a wide array of mixed media where she incorporates waste materials into two dimensional artworks, three dimensional installations and runway fashion wears that are functional garments. Joan captures the beauty of waste materials by recycling through art, which if left unappropriated, could only harm the environment.
is a full stack web developer specialized in making custom web experiences. He has more than 20 years of IT experience, working in the fields of 3D animation, art direction and executive management of video games before switching to web development 10 years ago. With roots in Amsterdam, Martijn is a free roaming world citizen and based everywhere the web goes.
is an artistic researcher with Africa Open Institute for Music, Research and Innovation (AOI) at Stellenbosch University (South Africa), where she coordinates the AOI Sonic Residencies programme. She is a recipient of a 2020 Stellenbosch University postdoctoral award for excellence in research. Her PhD in artistic research (2015) examined perspectives on interventionist curating in classical flute music concert practice, using geo-political aspects of landscape as a lens for curations. Her subsequent work engaged mapping practices and site-specific aspects of music-making as interventionist curating amidst publics, institutions, art, history and music-making. During 2020 she was a visiting scholar and artist in residence at Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies (STIAS), as part of the Xnau-Xnau duo research project with sonic and visual Khoi artivist Garth Erasmus.
is a cinematographer born and raised in the heart of Cape Town. With a strong eye, a powerful aesthetic and visual style he constantly aspires towards capturing a unique visual tone that has become the benchmark of his current work.
is a Humanities in Africa (HUMA) doctoral research fellow at UCT. She holds an MA in Political and International Studies from Rhodes University, South Africa. Her research is focused on protest performance, affect and place/ space. Her research delves into sex work in the digital era with the migration of sex work to visual content subscription sites such as OnlyFans during the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa as a case study. She has previously served as a tutor, researcher and professional administrative support staff at Rhodes University and the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
is a Professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Stellenbosch University. He has published on a wide range of topics including the politics of land, ‘development’ and identity in Zimbabwe and South Africa; the Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC); urban studies and most recently on citizenship and governance. His book entitled From Revolution to Rights in South Africa: Social Movements and Popular Politics (2008) focuses on globally connected social movements, NGOs and community-based organisations that are involved in democratic struggles over access to AIDS treatment, land and housing. He has edited a book entitled Limits to Liberation After Apartheid: Citizenship, Governance and Culture which is published by David Philip, James Currey and Ohio University Press (2005). His edited volume (with Nick Shepherd) is entitled New South African Keywords (Jacana and Ohio University Press, 2008).
is a femme artist, designer and curator who lives in Johannesburg. Rolfes’ artworks often combine drawn, painted, stitched and machine sewn elements . Her work is autobiographical and experiential, exhibiting a fine and fragmented aesthetic approach. She is also the web designer of herri.
BA from Oxford, also has a Masters in Linguistics (doctoraal) from University of Amsterdam. And PGCE from Leeds. She worked for 40 years as a teacher of English and Teacher Educator in The Netherlands. Jan – August 2016 worked as Teacher Educator on the EfECT project at Mandalay Education College. She is now retired and spends her time exploring local history in London.
is an assistant professor at Colby College. He teaches and researches contemporary world literature.
is a University of KwaZulu-Natal, Built Environment and Development Studies Graduate student. Born and raised in Stanger, Jackie Shandu is part of the EFF KZN Provincial Command Team as head of Policy, Research and Political Education. He writes in his personal capacity.
is a dramatist, writer and sociologist who has worked on a range of media that connect art to public life. His creative work started from his involvement with the Junction Avenue Theatre Company in Johannesburg, continued through worker and community theatre in Durban by which time he was also established as a poet. He met George Mari in the 1980s in Durban. In the last decade he has worked extensively with music composers and performers whether through the Insurrections Ensemble or the AfroAsia Ensemble whose latest work, Sea-drift of Songs has just been released through all media channels. The film about the making of it, involving performers from Ethiopia, Tanzania. Turkey, Spain, India and South Africa has been completed. His latest published work is an Oratorio of Small Things that Fall Like a Screw in the Night. (2020: Tulika Press, India, Columbia University Press).
This work is very much in tune with another two current pieces of work that deal with the need for an “international of the imagination” which is so necessary he feels to challenge the rise of mutated and re-invented forms of fascism and authoritarian restorations. This year, his co-authored sociological work on these issues, Scripting Defiance will see the light of day and his audio-curation of Wounds, of Hands will be broadcast by Chimurenga’s Pan African Space Station.
Professor Tendayi Sithole
gained his Doctor of Literature and Philosophy degree in 2014 at UNISA where he is currently “The Politics of Contemporary Africa” and “African Political Thought”. His fields of specialisation are Political theory, Decoloniality, Africana existential phenomenology, Jazz and politics and Black aesthetics. His books include: The Life and Music of Zimontology (East London: Poetry Printery, 2018), Steve Biko: Decolonial Meditations of Black Consciousness (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2016) and The Black Register (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2020). Sithole is a founding member of the Africa Decolonial Research Network (ADERN), Pretoria, South Africa.
began work as a photographer for The Star, Saturday Star and the Sunday Independent, and later moved on to be chief photographer of The Times and Sunday Times. His work focuses on issues relating to inequality, resilience and conflict, and life on the fringes of society. Skuy is the recipient of numerous local and international awards, including from World Press Photo, and multiple awards from the Picture of the Year International . (POYI).
is a poet, novelist, short story writer, polemicist and literary scholar from Despatch. His work reimagines and subverts Nguni folklore to write the Unlanguaged World. An appellation he coined to think and write about those lived moments and images in black life that are resistant to the inherited and limited literary language. He is the author of the novel Jah Hills, (Black Ghost Books, 2017; CLASH Books, 2019), which was nominated for the 2019 NOMMO Awards.
Yamkela Fortune Spengane
is a Black Consciousness Political activist, Pan Africanist and an independent researcher. He is rooted in the Fanonian school of thought.
was born in Marabastad, near Pretoria, but wrote most of his work in Sophiatown which was destroyed under the provisions of the apartheid Group Areas Act, which reassigned ethnic groups to new areas. He was a student at Fort Hare University College, where he received an English degree (first-class) and a teacher’s diploma. After moving to Sophiatown, he tried his hand at short-story writing. Themba entered the first short story contest of Drum (a magazine for urban black people concentrating mainly on investigative journalism), which he won. He subsequently worked for Drum, where he became one of the “Drum Boys,” together with Henry Nxumalo Bloke Modisane and Todd Matshikiza. They were later joined by Lewis Nkosi and Nat Nakasa. This group lived by the dictum: “Live fast, die young and have a good-looking corpse.” Growing frustrations with the restrictions of apartheid, caused Themba to move to Swaziland where he worked as a teacher. In 1966, he was declared a “statutory communist”, as a result of which his works were banned in South Africa. His literary output was only readily available in the 1980s with the publication of two collections The Will to Die (1972) and The World of Can Themba (1985). Themba’s increasing dependency on alcohol led to darker, introspective pieces such as Crepuscle, The Will to Die, and The Bottom of the Bottle. He died of coronary thrombosis in his flat in Manzini on 8 September 1967.
is also known as Tropical Geometry under which guise he crafts irresistible exotica synthpop with lush analog tones, dressed in a linen suit. His suave, subtly groovy songs and instrumental tracks will add the hauntology stamp in your passport. He collaborated with Jurgen Meekel to create three background videos for this issue of herri.
Mike van Graan
is the President of the African Cultural Policy Network and an award-winning playwright with thirty-two plays under his belt. He is currently an artist-in-residence at the University of Pretoria where he was conferred with an honorary doctorate in 2018 in recognition of his cultural activism and creative work. After South Africa’s first democratic elections, he was appointed as a Special Adviser to the minister responsible for arts and culture, where he played an influential role in shaping post-apartheid cultural policies. He has served in leadership roles in anti-apartheid and post-apartheid cultural formations, as well as in Pan-African organizations like Arterial Network, promoting the creative sector and its contribution to human rights, democracy and development.
Harm Roché van Tiddens
Born in 1990, Harm Roché van Tiddens started writing light music at the age of 16 with a protest song against child soldiers in Africa. He completed a Masters in Composition at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, while researching the spectral music scene in South Africa. In March of 2016, Roché’s work for Brass Quintet was performed at the ISCM World Music Days in South Korea. At the end of the year 2016 he moved to Birmingham, UK, to study composition at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. In February 2017 he was selected to take part in the Young Composer’s Meeting in Apeldoorn with the Orkest de Ereprijs where he won the prize to write for the Internationale Stichting Masterclasses in Apeldoorn 2017. He moved to the Netherlands and studied the one-year course at the Institute of Sonology to pursue his interest in working with sound creatively. At the end of 2018 he participated in the two-week Sonic Mmabolela artist’s residency, organized by Francisco López and Barbara Ellison on the Mmabolela game reserve, Limpopo River, South Africa. Roché has a fascination for nature and the sounds that occur in the African ‘bushveld’ and his work stems from a close interaction with sound environments.
Adrian “DIFF” Van Wyk
is a cultural worker from Kuilsriver, Cape Town, working across artistic disciplines as Curator, Producer, Writer and Director. From 2011- 2018 Adrian curated, produced and directed events for InZync Poetry NPO, a literary cultural non profit organization. With InZync, Adrian has produced and directed over 70 shows for the poetry platform. He currently works as a screenwriter, director and producer with Azania Rizing Productions.
Johan van Wyk
was born in Jansen Street, in the suburb Dagbreek of the mining town, Welkom in 1956. He studied at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1975, leaving the university at the end of 1976, fleeing the country as objector to military service. His first volume of poetry Deur die oog van die luiperd was published in 1976. He lived in Swaziland in a tent for a few months and was arrested during a return to his parents farm in 1977. He returned to university and completed his BA and Hons degree. He then enrolled at Rhodes University for an MA degree, which was eventually changed into a Ph.D. In 1989 he compiled, with Pieter Conradie and Nic Konstandaras, the anthology SA in poësie/ SA in poetry. His English novel Man Bitch(2001) is about the people of the Point Area, in Durban. He had a stroke in 2002, and about two months later was attacked in his flat by a lover. His output diminished dramatically after this.
is a published multimedia artist born in Kokosi, Fochville in 1993. He is a co-founder of an art and cultural movement called BLK Thought symposium and the founder of Sunday-Best studio. He uses art as a theoretical site for understanding and giving account of the world we live in. Mzoxolo advances his expressions through what he calls “conceptual” documentary photography, visual imposition works, collages and short documentary films. Mzoxolo has been published in The underworld: literary magazine and Scenes of an outsider a picture book that he self-published. When not working on developing his craft, and knowledge he works as a projects assistant at Keleketla Library.
broad areas of interest are in African music, choral music, Opera, African disapora music, cultural anthropology, cultural history, queer musicology and culture studies. His doctoral project focuses on the life and music of Reuben Tholakele Caluza. It examines the transatlantic cultural and ideological relations between US and South African Black Intellectuals, the rise of Black nationalism and its effect on amakhwaya music viewed through the art-world of RT Caluza. Thembela has also written on post-apartheid opera in South Africa, South African popular music (kwaito), music performance and HIV/AIDS in South Africa.
is the author of Brain Lift and Attack God Inside.
completed his Honours degree in Fine Art (sculpture) at the University of Cape Town in 1996, and his research MA(FA) on jazz photography (which interconnected reflections on Fine Arts, Social History and Music) in 2012. He also has a BA in Education from University of Cologne. He worked for three years as an art teacher, heading the Visual Arts Department at the German International School in Cape Town. After being employed by the Centre for Popular Memory (UCT) as an audio specialist and digitisation manager, he is now the Head of Digital Library Services at UCT Libraries.