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



    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...

  • 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

  • Performing Theory

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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Canny & Co.

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

  • 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.

  • 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