5 mins with Balkanology – 12th June, 44 Stanley- Milpark
Jun01

5 mins with Balkanology – 12th June, 44 Stanley- Milpark

Up your crazy factor – dance to a brass band and fling your hard-earned cash at a miniature mongolian double humped camel at Balkanoloy next weekend the 12th of June at 44 Stanley.  Tempting? Just do it. What is Balkanology all about? We asked Ma’or, one of the organisers to break it down: Balkanology has been running for four years. The events have grown from 600 people in the first to 2500 people in the seventh.  To date there have been seven parties in CT and two in JHB. In short, Balkanology is a massive themed party. We choose our venues very carefully and put emphasis on decor and music. Music is mostly Balkan remixed. So traditional music that has a driving bass and full of electronic and modern touches making it more palatable to the western ear. Through the decor we try and create a gypsy village gone carnival, so, hay bales, wagon wheels, live stock (for real goats, chicken, sheep…) carnival lighting, food stalls etc. We also incorporate many actors. Often the punters don’t know that they are actors simply because most of the guests come in costume as well. The actors however carry a story with them. For example, the one party was Balkanology The Great Balkan wedding where two fictitious characters Milovan & Biljana got married. The flyer to the party looked like an invite to a wedding. the whole marketing campaign was based on a real wedding, interviews on the radio claimed that it was real etc. On the night a real wedding took place with actors. A Russian orthodox style ceremony down to the T. After that we had ‘War & Peace’ with similar art instillations and actors being widows, soldiers, suicide bombers etc. Then came ‘The Gypsy Wake’ where the guests were welcomed at the entrance by the grieving family. Crying on your shoulder or simply shaking your hand thanking you for coming. Sad music played while the open coffin was on display. At around 22:30 the father of the deceased  gave a speech on what a special person Milovan was and how he would have loved us all to party for him and then the party kicks off. Then there was ‘The Resurrection’ then ‘Metamorphosis’ etc. What nations make up the Balkans and what do they offer the world? The nations that make up the Balkans are: *  Albania *  Bosnia and Herzegovina *  Bulgaria *  Croatia *  Greece *  Kosovo (partially recognized) *  Macedonia *  Montenegro *  Serbia Other countries sometimes included are: *  Moldova *  Romania *  Slovenia *  Turkey They offer amazing music and a true glimpse into...

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Unlikely Johannesburg – Part One
May23

Unlikely Johannesburg – Part One

The other day I got a call from New York – a friend’s Uncle on his way to the World Cup in South Africa called me to get some advice. His faraway voice calmly explained that bien sûr, he was excited to be visiting South Africa, but after reading a couple of recent scathing media reports citing violence, violence, violence, he was beginning to question the wisdom of choosing to stay in Johannesburg for their entire visit. Ironically enough, I was on a train out of Brussels and nowhere near the city of my birth, I have been away from Jozi for over two years now, so despite my heart & head being firmly rooted there, I couldn’t say I’m a local right now. This recent absence, coupled with the fact that talking rather loudly on a cellphone in downtime traintime in this part of the world incites targeted headrest incineration, meant that I had to think fast. And so, I took the path of least resistance, I told him to relax and enjoy himself, that yes, Johannesburg had a dangerous side, but that everything was going to be just fine. The police are on diet and the security companies on high alert, I told him, big brother is awake; ‘people are living there and life goes on’ I drawled- conscience of my slow accent I fell on old ways of explaining things away. Let me explain, when I read the email preceding the call and saw that he and his family were staying in Johannesburg only, for nearly two weeks i.e. for their entire visit…I felt a thrilled kind of fluttering in my chest. At last, I thought, our soulful neglected city, most often treated as a trampoline for tourists to bounce off to some other fabulous beached or bushed corner of our country, was being taken seriously as a tourism destination. By a New Yorker nogal! Let’s face it, when have I, or you for that matter, ever met tourists who have come to South Africa with only one destination on their list: the scary city of Johannesburg? I could feel the swelling pride in my voice as I described to him the place he was lucky to be visiting and the place that I can never quite shake off, that always pulls me back no matter how much of my oyster I believe the world to be. I was flattered, appeased and willing to please. And so, I started to tell him the inside story that any (and only) good Johannesburg-loving citizen can and probably will tell you. We’ll all agree Johannesburg is a bit of...

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City Stylin’ : A Story of Fabricated Dreams
May17

City Stylin’ : A Story of Fabricated Dreams

Thanda Kunene talks to the guys behind Durbanite fashion brand Godz who started with not much but their desire and passion to succeed in the fashion industry.  After much slog and learning all about doing business right, Godz designs  are worn with pride by Durban stylistas and they’re  making it big in Jozi with their own shop at Campus Square – Sharpile Thanda for the inspiring words! If you are a small creative business who’d like to be interviewed, please email Editorista on editor@represent.co.za Meet Smiso Mpafu and Nkonzo. Two young fashion designers that run a Durban-based fashion label by the name of Godz. Now for those of you fond of Durban street culture, you might have noticed the once-off individual custom design clothing which is of abundance around the sunny streets of Durban. Here is a low-down on the fashionistas and their path of entrepreneurship… * How did the name “Godz” come about when choosing a name for your brand? Design is a God-given talent. * Out of all the careers in the world, why choose fashion? Fashion is our main passion in life. We grew up around it, and there is nothing in the world that could take away the urge for doing fashion. * Please give us an outline of your typical day at work. The day’s work is prepared for the day before. Or else we also hang out waiting for people who  want custom designs. As you know in the fashion world there is never a repeat of the previous day’s work. * Since when has the fashion label been running and what challenges did you come upon when starting the business? The label was formed in 2003 but was registered as a business in 2006. We had issues with funding as we wanted to open a shop. Business was going well but we didn’t have an official shop to do business so we had to do door-to-door sales to to raise the capital for a proper work space. * What are the achievements you’ve reached within the fashion world so far? We managed to get a shop in the central CBD but we lost  out due to finances. We have now mangaged to obtain a shop at Campus Square which is located in the art hub of Melville in Johannesburg. We  also had a fashion show showcase at the Kirk Franklin Gala Dinner in 2007 which was at the Zulu Jazz Lounge, Durban. In 2008 we had a chance to showcase our work at the eThekwini Easter Fashion Showcase. In 2009 we showcased at the infamous Umgababa Beach Festival and this year we...

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Submerged Sunday with Goldfish at Emmarentia
Apr30

Submerged Sunday with Goldfish at Emmarentia

What a wunderbar way to spend this Autumn Sunday in Johannesburg – get out there and enjoy your hood before the hordes arrive for the footie… go go go! Old Mutual Encounter Concerts and 94.7 presents Submerged Sunday with Goldfish with special guests Flash Republic, Good Luck and DJ Dean Fuel on the 2 May, at Emmarentia Dam, Johannesburg Botanic Gardens. All may look forward to the electrifying surreal jazz and electronic tunes of Goldfish; the electro-tinged and funky house music of Flash Republic; one of Cape Town’s most prolific and in demand deck masters DJ Dean Fuel and Good Luck’s unique approach to dance music which has molded their sound into a blend of live instrumentation, delicious dance grooves and the sultriest of vocals on this chilled Sunday afternoon. Goldfish consists of the proudly South African, David Poole and Dominic Peters who continue to attract large audiences to their special brand of catchy electronic music using exciting new techniques to create live dance remixes. Even though they are both classically trained musicians, they moved into the genre of jazz.   Their unusual electronic sound is created by using a variety of musical equipment. Concert visitors can definitely look forward to an engaging mix of authentic and vibrant songs. Tickets are available via www.webtickets.co.za for R80 and at the gate R100. VIP Tickets (Golden Circle) are also available for R200. Book early to avoid disappointment. Patrons are urged to buy tickets before the time.  Should the concert be rained out, the ticket may be used for any of the other Encounters Shows at Emmarentia Dam for the same monetary value. Also, please remember that no alcohol, glass or cans will be allowed into the venue – there is a fully stocked bar on site. Entrance to the show is on Thomas Bowler Street. Gates open at 13:00 on 2...

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Vernissage: Nicholas Hlobo and Lerato Shadi
Apr30

Vernissage: Nicholas Hlobo and Lerato Shadi

Nothing like hanging out with arty types sipping on house red at an art opening in Jozi, always lots of eye candy around of both the artistic and human kind -after all, you can always hang out with the smokers outside if it gets too hot for you in amongst the talented. Tempted? Shimmy your touche over to the vernissage (très french for art exhibition opening) of Nicholas Hlobo and Lerato Shadi at on Thursday 6 May from 6 – 8 pm at Brodie/Stevenson gallery. The exhibition runs until 4 June 2010. Image: Left to right: Nicholas Hlobo, Isitulo samaNgesi sihlal’ iBhulukazi… 2010, ribbon, rubber on canvas; Isisele, 2010, ribbon, rubber on canvas Brodie/Stevenson is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Nicholas Hlobo, comprising new works on canvas. Any traditional notions of ‘painting’ technique are soon discarded as we encounter surfaces that have been slashed and then delicately stitched with ribbon and rubber, pockets of swollen canvas about to burst open, and ghostly allusions to real-world objects and spaces that seem to collapse in on themselves under the weight of imagined space. The artist has made the following comments on this new body of work: “The notion of pathways is carried out through this work. The lines that suggest these paths are drawn on a white sterile surface that I read as a landscape, or as skin. The lines bring with them energies that fertilise the landscape, resulting in certain areas swelling up as if impregnated by higher forces from faraway universes. The bulging areas are almost synonymous with skin trying to deal with ailments that have taken over. The skin of these objects also has to do with the space that exists somewhere deep in the core of one’s soul or imagination where everything moves with freedom that cannot be easily understood. Everything in this space is held tightly together and yet allowed to roam free. “One of the new works is titled ‘Icephe ifolokhwe ne bhoso yi five Pounds ten, isitulo samaNgesi sihlal’ iBhulukazi…’, which translates as ‘A spoon, a fork and a knife is £5.10, on an English chair now sits an Afrikaner woman’, and draws its title from a children’s game popular in the Eastern Cape in the early 1980s, where kids would sing this rhyme while running around chasing each other. I believe its origins have to do with the end of the Anglo-Boer war.” Nicholas Hlobo was born in Cape Town in 1975, and has a B Tech degree from the Wits Technikon (2002); he lives in Johannesburg. He was the Standard Bank Young Artist for 2009 with a solo exhibition touring...

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