Mehlo Madala


OK, not really -- my last post was only a couple of Thursdays ago. But still. We haven't had a catch up in a while. How are you?

I have been doing better. It wasn't until I started thinking about writing this update that I realised just how much better I've been. I'm writing a lot of this while I listen to the rain and Frank Ocean's Pink Matter. I'm on a taxi and I figure writing this would be more useful than stressing about wet roads. And, hopefully, you'll read it as I read many of my favourite internet things: in the morning while commuting.

OK, onto update things.

About Sipho Gongxeka's "Skeem Saka"

I'm still thinking about Sipho Gongxeka and his first show at the Market Photo Lab -- even though it's been a whole year. I wrote and "drafted" this on 31 July, 2014 but for some reason my last two questions weren't answered and I found the whole thing flat I sat on it. But I think of the work and the show and my feels every so often I decided to post it now. 
       
sipho gongxeka photography, market photo lab, yizo yizo, youth day,

It was a cold Jozi evening in early July when I went to the opening of Sipho Gongxeka's Skeem Saka exhibition at the Market Photo Lab Gallery in Newtown. There, I was transported into a sort of behind the scenes of a film not yet produced. Some of the photographs look like stills grabbed from mid-90s and early '00s classics such as Yizo Yizo and Hijack Stories. The complete body of work, though, looks less like performance and more like every day, run-of-the mill South Africa. In all the photographs the subjects are looking straight at the camera -- straight through the camera.

I also got to witness the magic of what happens when a black kid's art dreams begin to come true. At the opening, I spotted two women who were much older than the regular "Jozi art crowd." Dressed for the weather (and probably like people who leave their homes at 5:30AM) in their gorgeous camel coats. Upon asking, I learnt that one of them was Sipho's mother and the other woman his aunt. They know all the faces in the photos and kept remarking how well he captured them. At least four of the photographs feature the photographer's best friend -- his sister told me so when I asked how proud the family was feeling. See, not everyone gets to see their kid's art dreams come to fruition. Granted this is only the beginning but judging from it, we're in for great art from this young broseph.

I got in touch with Sipho and we had a chat on the BBM (because I'm awful that way) in which we talked about approaching one's art with perspective and I decided my being too close to my work is why I can't write. We even almost talked about the cultural powerhouse that is iKalawa and it was great.


Book Craving #2

book recomendations, books by black authors, essay book recommendation, chimamanda ngozi adichie, poetry book by saeed jones,
Well look at me making a book wishlist like my brain isn't wired the way it is; or like I have cash monies. But I really refuse to feel shame for wanting things like a human person alive in a capitalist society. I'm working on hacking that shame away, anyway.

AYANDA

ayanda the movie, ayanda mmovie review, carefree black girl film

If you follow me on twitter you'll know that the day before AYANDA came out at cinemas I had the sudden urge to watch it in a room with many other black women. First, I saw screening events where omam'ncane would be allowed a glass or two of their stuff while we mutually feelings-ed over the story on screen. Then, realising this was likely too big, I wanted to do a meet-up off the strength of my twitter and general internet presence. I saw myself meeting (maybe) 20 people from the internet and watching it with them and my sister. I called it the #JoziLovesAyanda AyandaMovieJHBMeetUp. Turns out, as I've known, my internet presence isn't that strong. On the 4th went to see the film with my sister. Here I discuss the two points I can't stop thinking about.

On the Nina Approach

gorgeous black man, sexy bald black man, nina simone love quote, nina simone i put a smell on you, should i tell my crush i like them, black men fall outfit,

Somewhere along the line -- likely between thirteen and fifteen -- I lost interest in things and people. A sort of apathy that grew from sadness and being so, so tired. I carry that apathy even today, a shruginess and "what's the point?" sort of mindset. But because I'm such a feelings-y person the shrugging is constantly dancing with "but you SHOULD feel more, do more, crave more! You're just afraid and this is why you are constantly covering your own mouth shut." Nobody said it was easy inside my head.

I have, for as long as I can remember, either been indifferent to people or obsessed with them. That's my default setting. There's rarely an in between. The number of times a person's existence has gone from obsession to a blah spot is disproportionate to the converse situation happening, as in huge. I outgrow people constantly.


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