Lesley Perkes

Ms Joburg 2013’s most ardent wish

I claim I love Johannesburg more than anyone else on the planet. I was born here. I eat these streets. I declare myself Ms Joburg 2013 — for today (you can have it tomorrow) — and here, for my inaugural address, is my ardent wish for our town: On orders from the executive mayor of…

4 Comments Continue Reading →

A lay-by on shop U22, Sandton City / the outer fringe

The truth is, although I noticed Amos Letsoalo’s beautiful charcoal drawing of an anteater, I could hardly look at the art shown on the Joburg Fringe this year. Having visited it first, unfortunately just after it closed on the opening night, I was so taken with the fact of it, featured as it was in…

1 Comment Continue Reading →

Keeping shtum*

When I was a young woman just out of school and during a state of emergency, while on a visit to my beautiful Boba, we were talking politics and I told her I was in despair and hoping for the Messiah. She said I could put out my cigarette for starters. Let me say this…

7 Comments Continue Reading →

Chess the thing for Joburg inner city

Indifference is a powerful weapon, easily injected into entire atmospheres, hearts and minds. Since the beginning of The Troyeville Bedtime Story, a never-ending Joburg tale that began with a stinking pile of neglected rubble in 2011, my eyes and heart tend toward what appears to be impossible, dysfunctional, overwhelming. I am long suffering from a…

6 Comments Continue Reading →

Free Mandela forever Cape Town

This last week, the fabulous young South African and increasingly world-renowned artist Faith47, posted an online petition to ask the City of Cape Town to please reconsider their decision NOT to restore the well-known and loved FREE MANDELA slogan on the wall of a cemetery in the suburb of Observatory. The slogan, that has been…

19 Comments Continue Reading →

What art you talking about?

The 31st of July was the deadline decided on by the South African Department of Arts and Culture (DepARTment) for arts practitioners and institutional responses to a revised White Paper they made available (in very limited fashion) earlier in the same month. There was nothing normal about the process but nothing abnormal either. Because this…

6 Comments Continue Reading →

Dear Mayor Patricia de Lille and Alderman JP Smith, Cape Town

In response to this and this please find the new: ATTENTION ALL ARTISTS AND AUDIENCES CC: IMPROVEMENT DISTRICTS, CAPE TOWN BUREAUCRATS AND POLICE NEW REGULATIONS / BYLAWS FOR MAKING MUSIC + ARTS IN PUBLIC SPACE IN CAPE TOWN You will disregard the loud, screechy sound of the retailers and local businesses who think that the…

7 Comments Continue Reading →

Life support

The doctor turns to me and says you need to think about what you are going to do if he needs to go on a respirator. I do not understand. I ask. He says if he turns for the worse and needs to go on a respirator what will you do? I say why are…

13 Comments Continue Reading →

Will not waste it

Long time ago, when he was far too young to understand, I took my son to Robben Island. It was me who wanted to go. He didn’t care — he just wanted to go on the big boat ride and find seals and laugh and shout and say did you see that one with the…

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

Name and shame?

I got taken to the doctor. He sat opposite me and said exactly nothing, not even hello or how are you. Pale and discomforted, he looked everywhere. And then I saw his cold hand, white shirt cuff, soft beige jersey, slowly pushing one small white tranquiliser halfway across the polished desk. I asked what it…

8 Comments Continue Reading →
Page 112