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A very tall story

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One of the most regular sights at the Johannesburg International Airport departure lounge is a tourist battling to manage both their luggage and a carved wooden giraffe of their own height. The fascination with this African creature is nothing new. For centuries it has been considered so exotic that on occasion it was sent as a diplomatic gift to countries on other continents.

The passing of giants

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The deaths of Dan Rakgoathe on April 18 and Durant Sihlali on May 3 represent a sad and devastating loss for the South African art community.

Spotlight on Africa in the US

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For African art historians, the triennial African art conference, which is organised by the Arts Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA), affords important opportunities to showcase new research on the art of Africa and the African diaspora.

Art of the trash heap

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To tell the world a positive story regarding creative endeavours in Zimbabwe is challenging right now. The expectations of impending tragedy and starvation are just too compelling; we strain to hear the screams of torture rather than the scrape of the palette knife.

Walk, don't drive

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Durban is a rapidly growing city responding to the challenges of a post-apartheid South Africa. Doung Anwar Jahangeer is fascinated by the implications of this simple statement of belief for the dynamic urban context of Africa's busiest container port city.

Mapping the cultural city

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With little fanfare, art changes urban history. It creates new ways of seeing, literally. When the first colonists alighted at the Cape under the pretence of discovery, laying the foundations for the turbulent history and crises of identity that we live today, they did so with the help of a technology we now take for granted: the Mercator map.

Inspiration in Dakar

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Walking through the 2004 Whitney Biennial after visiting Dak'Art: The Biennial of Contemporary African Art in Dakar, Senegal, on the previous weekend, I found myself making comparisons between the two exhibitions on aesthetic and conceptual levels.

Celebrating a decade abroad

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The organisers of a range of contemporary South African exhibitions abroad this year all seem variously determined to break down, challenge, question and/or reappropriate stereotyped and essentialist conceptions about South African people and art — some more successfully than others.