- Richard Poplak
The naming of Cape Town as the World Design Capital may have been met with cynicism in some circles, but if you took a peek at this month’s Open Design Festival, you’d be forgiven for being swept away by it all. It’s crammed full of exciting inventions and is, to borrow a phrase from the writer’s children, ‘kak cool’. And you don’t have much time left to experience it, so you’d better get cracking. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
Capetonians love to casually claim their culture capital status, but hate to have to actually own it. With more art, theatre and music than you could shake a fist at, the empty seats on any given night bear testament to that other side of Capetonian character…the infamously flakey ‘RSVPossibly bru’. The fact is, if we want to be able to boast of the African avant-garde, we probably need to actually go to some of it every now and again. By CARLA LEVER.
I’m going to jump right in and say it - I loved this show so much that I’d go back again this evening. And the next night too. Cirque Éloize ID is the most infectious fun-filled show you can imagine. No, you can’t even imagine it really, unless you’re a world-class theatrical producer yourself. Which you aren’t, so you really ought to book some tickets and if you have stroppy teenagers in the family, take them too. By LESLEY STONES.
The third Mini generation to make its appearance since the British brand became part of the BMW stable may have grown in size (again), but in dynamic terms, it still epitomises the cheeky adolescence of the truly tiny original. Besides, its underpinnings are so good that they’ll soon be shared by some BMW models … DEON SCHOEMAN drives the enticingly chuckable, and highly entertaining, base-model Mini Cooper.
Two years after the killing of 34 miners at Marikana, no official memorial to the massacre has yet been established. Perhaps a state-sponsored memorial to state-sponsored violence can never be anything more than an expedient gesture. But in Cape Town this week, artists have brought the lives of those slain at Marikana into the city’s genteel streets in anarchic, confronting ways. By REBECCA DAVIS.
As women’s month passes most of us by, not really changing anything, one photographer is using her camera to capture the essence of South Africa’s gay and trans women. Not to celebrate, no; but to connect, and to capture a slice of their history. And to prove that they’re just like everyone else. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
When Korean car maker Kia hired Peter Schreyer, and gave the affable, jazz-loving ex-Audi designer a clean sheet of paper, it changed the brand forever. Today’s Kias are sleek and sexy machines, with a distinctive brand identity. The vehicle that heralded the Schreyer revolution was the Kia Sportage. DEON SCHOEMAN drives the recently updated version.
Porn and who gets to screen and watch it has always been a controversial issue in South Africa. In fact, this week the Cape High Court is hearing an application by the Justice Alliance of South Africa and two other organisations to have pay channel StarSat’s licence revoked because it allegedly misrepresented the “type” of adult content it would screen. But who consumes porn in South Africa and where are they watching? By MARIANNE THAMM.
Right now, one of the motoring world’s most desirable production cars is a small two-seater with a four-cylinder turbo engine and a dual-clutch gearbox. That may sound decidedly ordinary, but all doubts are dispelled when you see it in all its composite splendour. DEON SCHOEMAN drives the arresting Alfa Romeo 4C.
The North Gauteng High Court will today continue to hear closing arguments in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. Yesterday saw Gerrie Nel conclude his arguments for the state, admitting that the evidence against Pistorius is mainly circumstantial, but in totality, sufficiently damning. Today is the last chance for the defence to argue that their client should escape a conviction for murder. By REBECCA DAVIS
It’s almost the end of the road, folks. It’s been a seemingly interminable journey, but today the closing arguments will be presented in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. Lawyers for the state and the defence are now faced with the unenviable task of shaping thousands of pages of witness testimony into two compelling stories. One will tell the tale of a disabled, anxious man who believed it necessary to protect himself and his lover from threat. The other will tell the tale of an angry, trigger-happy narcissist who killed his girlfriend in a violent rage. Judge Thokozile Masipa has to pick one. By REBECCA DAVIS
Are the country’s atheists any happier, better off or more conscious of issues than their religious brothers and sisters? While South Africa remains an overwhelmingly religious country, there are a fair number of atheists (and Jedi apparently) who move among us. Who are they, what do they get up to and how do they live? By MARIANNE THAMM.
About 40 years ago a handful of lucky South Africans managed to catch a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show just before the authorities banned it in the country. Back then, in Apartheid South Africa, the film was hugely transgressive. But does it still have meaning in the 21st century? MARIANNE THAMM took her children to see the stage production at the Fugard Theatre.
Forget the Department of Arts and Culture’s #WearADoek campaign for Women’s Month. It is the simplicity of a young woman who stripped naked and stood quietly below the six-metre-high bronze statue of Nelson Mandela in Sandton last week who captured local imagination. Braveheart, as the woman has been named, has in some way enabled women to “re-embody” our bodies in a space that is generally hostile, an issue which US feminist and activist Eve Ensler, currently in South Africa, has made her life’s work. By MARIANNE THAMM.
The new Porsche Macan manages what many so-called sport utility vehicles don’t: deliver a driving experience that’s unequivocally sporty, despite also offering space for family and luggage. But is it sporty enough to wear the Porsche badge with pride? DEON SCHOEMAN finds out in a rain-drenched Cape of Storms.
According to director Liz Marshall, humans have divided animals into three categories: pets, wildlife and those they don’t want to think about. Her documentary ‘The Ghosts in Our Machine’ follows photographer Jo-Anne McArthur as she tries to find, photograph and document some of these lost ghosts. It’s won over a dozen awards and it’s on at the Labia this weekend. MARELISE VAN DER MERWE suggests you see it.
Picture going on a tour of venues where people go specifically to have sex. Usually with strangers. In all kinds of unusual ways. But, it seems, whatever they’re doing, they’re awfully hygienic about it. Seem like an unusual way to spend a morning? REBECCA HODES actually did it. The tour, that is. Strictly business.