Place of Slaughter and Other StoriesMarilyn Nance: Last Day in LagosBear Books Interview with Tanya ZackUp Up: Stories of Johannesburg’s Highrises

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Fourthwall Books is pleased to announce the publication of Place of Slaughter and Other Stories, a new translation of the stories of Koos Prinsloo. Gerrit Olivier offers a superb interpretation of Prinsloo’s explosive and ground-breaking collection Slagplaas (Human and Rousseau, 1992), along with selected stories from the collections Jonkmanskas (Tafelberg, 1982), Die Hemel Help Ons (Taurus, 1987) and Weifeling (Hond, 1993). His translation demonstrates that Prinsloo’s engagement with male power and identity, South Africa under states of emergency and the world as a place of desire and slaughter is as fresh and original today as it was thirty years ago.

Koos Prinsloo was born in Kenya in 1957 and came to South Africa as a boy with his family. He studied at the University of Pretoria and became a journalist for several newspapers in Johannesburg. Jonkmanskas, his debut as a short story writer in 1982, was followed by three more collections exploring male power and sexuality, violence and the turmoil of South Africa under a repressive regime. He died of HIV-related causes in 1994.

Gerrit Olivier has had a career as a columnist and publisher, an academic and Dean of Humanities at the University of the Witwatersrand. He has taught in the Wits Department of Creative Writing for several years. His book Aantekeninge by Koos Prinsloo (African Sun Media, 2008) is a comprehensive treatment of Prinsloo’s short stories.

Marilyn Nance: Last Day in Lagos: From 15 January to 12 February 1977, more than 15,000 artists, intellectuals and performers from 55 nations gathered in Lagos, Nigeria for the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, also known as FESTAC ’77. Taking place in the heyday of Nigeria’s oil wealth and following the African continent’s potent decade of decolonisation, FESTAC ’77 was the peak of Pan-Africanist expression.

While serving as a photographer for the US contingent of the North American delegation, Marilyn Nance made more than 1,500 images during the festival, amassing one of the most comprehensive photographic accounts of FESTAC ’77. Drawing from Nance’s extensive photographic archive, Last Day in Lagos chronicles the exuberant intensity and sociopolitical significance of this singular event, offering a rich entry point for understanding the festival’s propulsive force as well as this artist’s undeniable vision.

Everyone is Present: In this book, Kurgan begins with a family snapshot made by her Polish grandfather in 1939 on the eve of the war. Presenting this evocative image as a repository of multiple histories—public, private, domestic, familial and generational—she sets off on a series of meditations on photography that give us startling insights into how photographs work: what they conceal, how they mislead, what provocations they contain.

Undercity: Decades after the mining houses closed shop in Johannesburg, the metal that made this the wealthiest city on the continent continues to attract fortune seekers. Now they come to glean what is left of a once-booming industry, from the mine dumps and in the abandoned shafts beneath the city. These ‘artisanal miners’, or ‘Zama Zamas’, use an ancient pick-and-shovel method to extract the gold.

August House is Dead, Long Live August House! The Story of a Johannesburg Atelier: In the east end of the inner city of Johannesburg, a former textiles factory undergoes a dramatic transformation to become, over the next several years, one of the city’s foremost artists’ studios. When the sale of the building seems imminent, not only must the artists face the daunting prospect of relocation, but a remarkable chapter in the complex narrative of contemporary South African art seems about to close.

Andrew Tshabangu: Footprints, the book coincides with the exhibition Andrew Tshabangu: Footprints at the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg. Andrew Tshabangu has been making photographs for over twenty years. He has traversed the city and the countryside—in South Africa and elsewhere—with an ease born of deep familiarity and empathy, and in order to show everyday lives made meaningful by the rhythms of work, faith and leisure. The book is sponsored and supported by Gallery MOMO and Standard Bank.

Master Mansions: In the eighth book of the popular series Wake Up, This is Joburg, photographer Mark Lewis and writer Tanya Zack take us on a magical tour of Master Mansions and its family temple, now shuttered but perfectly preserved. They learn the story of the hat factory from Bhikha Uka’s son Rajnikant Bhikha (aka RB), RB’s youngest son HB Master and HB’s son Manoj. HB and his children were the last to manage the hat factory and he tells of its success, perhaps no more tangibly demonstrated than in the famous hat made by Mabro milliner Jimmy Baloyi and worn by Winnie Mandela to the Presidential inauguration of Nelson Mandela.

Commonplace: In its presentation of private images from
two very different family photo collections, this unusual book highlights the small details—the commonplaces—of everyday life often forgotten in the larger narrative of South African history.

Hââbré, The Last Generation is a series of portraits of people who represent perhaps the last generation to bear the ritual scarification associated with a number of ethnic groups in various parts of West Africa. These lush images, shot in Choumali’s studio in Abidjan, are accompanied by excerpts of interviews conducted by Choumali with her sitters, which reveal a range of responses to scarification, from pride to ambivalence and even outright rejection of the facial markings. These portraits and texts examine the complex role of tradition in an urban setting such as Abidjan and suggest the shifting nature of the concepts of beauty and identity.

Hanging on a Wire: Photographs by Sophia Klaase, in 1999, Rick Rohde, a Research Fellow of the Centre of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh, joined a long-term research project in the village of Paulshoek in Namaqualand, the aim of which was to understand and record the socio-economic and environmental history of the area. Some residents of Paulshoek were invited to contribute to the project through a photographic documentation of the life of the village. One of these photographers was Sophia Klaase, whose images are the cornerstone of this richly layered study of Paulshoek and its environs.

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