Shoe Shop is an anthology and an experiment in imagining different paths, speaking in different tongues – on Africa, movement, public art, migration, beauty: considering an innate humanity. The book has been shaped to create a space for transformation and fluidity, for care, and for the sole pleasure of movement. It is a site for loitering, waiting, but also for doubt and reserving a space to enquire.
The book begins with the struggle with the ideas that surround public art in South Africa. Public space remains difficult. Historically, ‘land’ is the point of original trauma and injustice. Today still, it is the glaring inequality of the geopolitical landscape that stands as testimony of a continuing structural and social segregation. The hard social realities and the untransformed landscape of apartheid have been addressed in various ways by artists and citizens. Perhaps it is time to rethink and imagine space from the perspective of the passers-by, of people walking and moving through space with their feet on the ground – negotiating, wearing, casting off, at other times weaving through, ideological territories of belonging as dictated by notions of nationality, race or gender.
The idea of migration in South Africa is of particular significance. It would be close to impossible to find a single individual whose history and self-definition are not related to some form of migration – from roving peoples, settlers and trekkers, to the more recent realities of the Group Areas Act and forced removals. Contemporary waves of emigration and immigration have in recent years turned South African urban centres into truly cosmopolitan and pan-African places.
Literal and theoretical notions addressed in the book start with feet, physicality and shoes, moving to real and imagined movements, using invented maps, possible routes, dreams and ideas about the future. The Shoe Shop reader looks at the arts, particularly photography, cinema and literature. This book exists as a bridge between the project, Migration & Media, which started in 2006 in Frankfurt am Main (Germany) and its last iteration in Bamako (Mali) in 2011, and an evolving Shoe Shop exhibition and festival to be held in greater Johannesburg in May 2012, which will address physicality and movement as literal and conceptual spaces.
Loiter with intent, but beware of the agapanthus.
Artists featured in the book include Doung Anwar Jahangeer, Penny Siopis, Jürgen Schadeberg, George Osodi, Jyoti Mistry, Ismail Farouk, Emmanuel Bakary Daou, Serge Alain Nitegeka, Kemang wa Lehulere, Musa Nxumalo, Fatoumata Diabaté.
This reader and the associated exhibition is produced in partnership with the Goethe-Institut Johannesburg.
Part 1: Walking movements
...just passing through...
Doung Anwar Jahangeer
The open field: Some notes on the figure of walking in African film
The hooks of history: Three films
Greetings Mr Prez
Part 2: Images of and in migrating practices
Pictures from here for the people over yonder: Photography in migratory circuits
Traces of African migratory identities in the photographic sphere
Migrating images: Totemism, fetishism, idolatry
Arriving home and moving on: The photographs of Lisl Ponger in Bamako
To France or wherever: The Blue Notes and exile in Europe
Part 3: Dialogues, struggles with ambivalences, family and history
Conversations: Fragments of an oral history of Malian photography
In conversation with Fatoumata Diabaté
In conversation with Amadou Sow
In conversation with Emmanuel Bakary Daou
In conversation with Mamadi Koité
In conversation with Halima Diop
Presence and absence in Sokona Diabaté’s Portrait de Famille
Ambiguous gestures, ambivalent images: Migratory aesthetics and contemporary photography
Where is home?
Musa Nxumalo’s odd futures: Thenjiwe Nkosi in conversation with Musa Nxumalo
Thenjiwe Nkosi and Musa Nxumalo
We won’t move
Part 4: Space for indeterminacy, coexistence, mixing, in-betweenness
Thirty minutes of amnesia
Kemang Wa Lehulere
Serge Alain Nitegeka in conversation with Joan Legalamitlwa
A Walk in the Night: Breaking the lines of force in postcolonial African narratives
Andries Walter Oliphant
Waiting: Daily rhythm in a time of loitering bylaw enforcement
Bridging movement binaries through time: A description of a work in progress
Published by Fanele (an imprint of Jacana Media) in association with Goethe-Institut South Africa
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|Author:||Edited by Marie-Hélène Gutberlet and Cara Snyman|