Past Issue

Photographer Jodi Bieber’s portrait of a member of the Dube Young Blood Shotokan Karate Club in Soweto covers issue #4. We examine whether Soweto is a viable model of what happens after informality? The question does not propose a simple answer. Also in this issue: a grouped series of reports, essays and interviews connecting Tel Aviv; Naples; Berlin & Guangzhou - all cities where African migrants are a feature of the urban matrix.

Issue #04

November 2013


  • Maponya-Mall


    Soweto is both symbol and living city. Conceived as a segregated labour compound at the start of the 20th century, it was only officially named in 1963. Soweto is a portmanteau name that answers where (south-western) and what (township). “A place like Soweto does not...

  • FRANCO-2

    The Baritone

    The soundtrack to Africa’s early post-independence years was written by Franco, the godfather of Congolese rumba, a man who skilfully negotiated change and tyranny in Zaire with guitar and song

  • JWTC

    Performing Theory

    This year’s Johannesburg Workshop on Theory and Criticism investigated how forms permeate contemporary life- worlds and practices

  • Nigerian trader Hillary Ogbu discusses an order of labels with a Chinese designer who goes by the name Andy Okeke, in Okeke’s shop in Guangzhou, China

    Little Lagos in big China

    West African traders flocked to Guangzhou in the late 1990s. Some have established vast business empires with links back to Africa.

  • Israelis setting garbage on fire and singing
“The people want the Africans to be burned” during riots following a protest against African refugees and asylum seekers in Tel Aviv’s Hatikva neighborhood on May 23, 2012. More than 1,000 Israelis protested against the African refugees and asylum seekers
who have settled in South Tel Aviv in recent years. The protest was followed by attacks on African immigrants and confrontations with police.

    Trouble in the promised land

    The estimated 60,000 African migrants that live and work in South Tel Aviv find themselves increasingly under threat of violence

Interviews and Conversations

  • Ndikung-Savvy

    Canny & Co.

    Founded by Cameroonian entrepreneur Bonaventure Ndikung, SAVVY Contemporary is a Berlin exhibition space devoted to art, networking and eating

  • Ananya Roy

    Lessons from somewhere

    Ananya Roy’s scholarship on microfinance and poverty alleviation and global urbanism has earned her widespread acclaim. She speaks to her former student Gautam Bhan.

  • edem ewumey

    Credibility is everything

    In his first English-language interview, Togolese- Canadian novelist Edem Awumey talks about the many literatures that inform his exile-influenced writings

Photo Essays


  • Dan Eckstein
  • Guillaume Bonn
  • Fred de Vries
  • Kim Gurney
  • Yepoka Yeebo
  • Sean O'Toole
  • Joseph Dana
  • Kirsten Harrison
  • Trevor Ngwane
  • Joonji Mdyogolo
  • Tau Tavengwa
  • Luiz Eduardo Soares
  • Garth Myers
  • Edgar Pieterse
  • Gautam Bhan
  • Samanth Subramanian
  • Kimon de Greef
  • Neo Muyanga
  • Laura Gottesdiener