Tammy Greer is a writer and the editor of Creative Feel.
When we started planning the content for this August issue, the Creative Feel team, which is mostly female, sat down and spoke about how best to celebrate Women’s Month in a way that is authentic and doesn’t trivialise the 1956 Women’s March. A key for us was that we couldn’t pretend women aren’t still facing tremendous issues on a daily basis 25 years post-apartheid. Equality and gender pay gaps aside, gender-based violence is an enormous problem that we as a nation face – and really are struggling to defeat. While these issues aren’t easy to talk about in every-day conversation, one key way that we can create discussion, and hopefully bring about transformation and change, is through the arts. One of our featured artists this month, Gabrielle Goliath is both a supremely talented artist and fierce in her fight against gender-based violence. Her latest exhibition, entitled This song is for…, is powerful and potent; an emotionally charged, yet palatable, tribute to survivors of rape. This exhibition is something I wish every South African could experience and truly comprehend.
Another creator who has spent decades working to make a difference in the lives of others is Kim Sacks. Through the Kim Sacks Gallery in Parkwood, she provides a space for the best ceramicists and crafters from across the continent to sell their creations, providing these individuals with a way to grow their skills and earn an income. Sacks spoke to us about the genesis of her Ceramics School and Gallery: ‘I was really quite radical in my activities. That was long before apartheid ceased and I worked extensively in rural areas. Sometimes there were question marks, people kept saying, “are you really doing craft?” But for me, craft was political. It was an activity that made a difference, that had the ability to take rural women and put food in their children’s mouths, even if it was small amounts… it wasn’t huge, but it definitely made a difference.’ Sacks has also spent an enormous amount of time and energy educating the public on how these artefacts are made, particularly the time, skill and love that goes into creating each piece, thereby creating an appreciation and a demand for the works. A visit to her Gallery to find your next treasure is definitely recommended!
With the President’s State of the Nation Address in June, the very scary statistics about children’s reading abilities in South Africa were brought the fore. That eight out of every ten 10-year-olds can’t read for basic meaning is terrifying for the future of our country, which is why we explored some of the female independent publishers who are working to make reading more accessible and more exciting for all South Africans, so that we can hopefully begin to see these figures improving soon.
On a personal note, we are heart broken to have to say goodbye to two icons that Creative Feel has admired and worked with over the years – Dr David Koloane and Johnny Clegg. They will be sorely missed.
This issue is full of strong and incredible females who are excelling in their craft – and uplifting those around them simultaenously.
Enjoy the issue!
To keep up-to-date with the latest arts and culture news in South Africa, purchase the August 2019 issue of Creative Feel or subscribe to our monthly magazine from only R180.00 to R365.00 per year! SUBSCRIBE HERE!