Wednesday, 04 July 2012 14:10



Cratefan Elliot in Cape Town on the V&A Waterfront today. Someone says he is so happy that Oscar Pistorius is going to the Olympics he's growing something out of his right hand. Better watch out. I believe it is going to be moving.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012 10:19





AAW! are joining a motley and enthusiastic collective of volunteers to organise the

4th Annual Kids Party for Mr Mandela,hosted annually by the Kanala Initiative. Please help us and

the sponsors who are already on board –  Matrix, Nando’s and the City of Johannesburg -

to make this good mischief happen in style.

Every year since 2009, the Kanala Initiative, a network of volunteers led by Temma Dean

(local Beryl Court Heroine), organise a big party for orphans and under privileged children (under 13)

for Mr Mandela’s birthday. Since 2009, the party has been hosted in Kliptown, Soweto - and children

from nearby Eldorado Park and the inner city’s Troyeville district have been brought there for the fun.  


For the first time, in 2012, the party will bring children from Eldorado Park, Kliptown, Soweto,

Hillbrowand Midvaal to the inner city suburb so that 1200 kids can have the times of their lives

for a day in David Webster Park in Troyeville. The date for this year’s big event is

Sunday 22 July 2012.


The children are set to have the time of their lives. Some of them have never left Eldorado or Soweto before

- and now they’re going to a big park in town - for a feast, give-aways, including t-shirts and bags with

reading books and surprises. There will be music, song and dance and a grand parade in which the

children will participate with their own marching band and majorettes. Many local Troyeville artists,

the neighbourhood famous for its arts - are volunteering to perform and there will be a grand focus on

Mr Nelson Mandela, what he means to us … and how we can emulate his example.


Please will you consider contributing to the party by either donating towards the cost of transport

and portable ablutions or giving something that is on the WISH LIST below. Your generosity will be

met with great enthusiasm. We would also be pleased as punch if you and your family would like to

join us for the party (bring your picnic) and we will publicize your contribution on the Honour Roll.

If you know of a corporate or philanthropic organisation who you think might like to make a BIG

donation please also let us know as we can offer them REAL RETURNS.



In addition to any donation - no matter how small or giant - we really need:


Lunch for 300 minders and volunteers

Celebrities (that children want to meet for autographs and singing and playing the fool)

Performers that want to come and play

3 pieces of fruit and a small juice each - for 1200 children

Surprises for goodie-bags – e.g. stationery, books, jewellery, toys

 Cut, make and trim work to sew bags together (material has been donated) and local volunteers are doing silkscreening

Trestle tables

A Giant Book for Messages to Mr Mandela

Dustbin bags

Anything else you would like to give that you think the children will love




The Central Johannesburg Partnership (CJP) has kindly agreed to manage any financial donations

received and to provide a financial report-back to funders – at no charge whatsoever to the project.

They are heroes! The CJP is committed to involving key stakeholders in Central Johannesburg in a

cooperative effort to rejuvenate the central area thereby promoting a sound economy; an attractive,

clean, safe and vibrant city centre; affordable residential accommodation; employment opportunities

and a focus for the community.


Bank Details for the Central Johannesburg Partnership are:






Please, if you do make a donation of any kind or have any queries, let us know by email or phone.




Kanala Initiative Volunteers

Temma Dean: 0711764786

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Lesley Perkes: 0836542009

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NMDAYlogo  NMF_logo    CJPlogo


George Osodi's work is still up opposite Abfab in Troyeville. The site is now a noticeboard as well as an installation for 10 green bottles, 8 of which have accidentally fallen.


Here I am installing Jodi's show about so-called illegal African immigrants - for the fourth time. The entire show was removed again last week for reasons that are unknown to us but are certainly not due to collectors' wishing to have their own copies. The style of removal makes us think that - torn off the wall in a way that showed no care for the images. This, despite us having permission.


After we'd installed a fine art painter came to ask if he could ever see the work on show at the Johannesburg Art Gallery. I said I was not sure but that he should go there anyway. He agreed. He said this is an important exhibition and it belongs in a gallery. He said the artist deserved the works to be in a gallery. We had a long chat about public space.


Afterwards the inner city's security guys came over and said that the advertisements were supposed to have City of Joburg orange stickers all over them to declare them legal. I was thinking about Illegal Poster Immigrants. Infiltrating Images. That kind of thing. We spent some time talking about the difference between outdoor advertising and art and I asked them to check with their boss and if they were told to take them down they must phone me first. We will see what we will see. Or we will not.


Johannes went to see Fatamouta Diabate's work in Yeoville on the old train. This piece, my favourite on SHOESHOP, is a noticeboard now, too, in all unofficial languages. You can read more about the work that this image inspired on because this part of SHOESHOP is not over and I am not sure it is capable of ending. Ever.


Emmanuel Bakary Daou's work is no longer up at the base of the Hillbrow Tower which is my favourite site on SHOESHOP and will be revisited soon. However we noticed that the team who were busy in Hillbrow on Youth Day also decided to use this location for their campaign which you can read more about over here on my friend the heroine Ms Milli's Blogspot:


Thabiso Sekgala missed SHOESHOP because he was far away when the installations went up so Johannes took him all over the place to see them. The posters on the busstop wall in Parktown Noth were all gone but this strange stencil was still there, previously haughtily ignored by yours truly.


Then they went to see the beautiful remnants of Johannes's own installation of his work in Troyeville.


I don't know why I love this so much. I don't know why I love what I love. I just do.


That is Thabiso in Troyeville.


A brilliant artist, writer and researcher by the name of Kim Gurney sent me her own image of this remnant. We both love it also and so does Jo.


Here is Thabiso again, planking next to the installation that is till up at the Jeppe Taxi Rank. He was happy says Johannes.


A bakkie drove past.


Afterwards, and before they went on another mission involving Nando's posters which you can read about later at Johannes brought Thabiso to the AAW! office so he could photograph the trees at the Troyeville Tea Garden. I was not there and I do not know when this happened but it did because here is the evidence.


Thabiso posed for Johannes underneath one of his posters which is the very first SHOESHOP poster to go up on any wall and which is still there and which was an experiment in flour and water and a little bit of wallpaper glue.

Friday, 08 June 2012 10:24



On Tuesday, I went to check on Jodie Bieber's show outside the Central Methodist Church in Pritchard Street, Joburg and I found that the artist's statement and one other poster featuring images of Mozambican refugees at Lindela had been taken. Well that was not the end of the world. Dear Johannes came back from animal training (he is a natural - we knew that) and fixed it by the next morning.

We knew when we started this project for SHOESHOP that people would maybe vandalise or take images. We specially printed overruns for the occasion.

When the show was up in Hillbrow a few posters also got taken and on one day someone went and carefully drilled a few small holes in each one, but they still looked great.

When we put the show up outside the Central Methodist Church we were a bit concerned because:

- we are running out of spares

- the show is about refugees in South Africa and we were installing outside a shelter

- we installed in the reverberating aftermath of The Spear

We discussed all this and thought that there might be a more intense and unpredictable response. We decided to install anyway, in generous spirit. Yesterday morning, while I was busy learning, Johannes called to say there was nothing left of the show, save the torn poster above. A barbed poster.


By sunset it was back up. Maybe someone wanted the exhibition all to themselves. We haven't got a clue.

Monday, 04 June 2012 13:57


JeppeInstallationfromfar poster installed at this street spaza in Jeppe, near the taxi rank. The photograph, titled Marche Bleue is by Emmanuel Bakary Daou from Bamako, Mali. What a dude he is, a brilliant photographer and so stylish the girls were using their jackets as fans to calm down whenever he was around.

The poster caught our attention because we did not put it up but it's on turf. I said "I bet you it's Phillippa" straightaway, because it is framed in a way that has Phillippa's eyes. It looks like the house of her heart. I asked her later if it was her and she confirmed. Phillippa Yaa de Villiers is our neighbour and a brilliant writer. You can read her blog at

She went and did it nice. She has great feet for walking, and she does, with her dogs, all over the show.

Although SHOESHOP is officially over, the project just won't lie down. Maybe because even the tow-druck drivers are finding it a useful platform.


Saturday, 02 June 2012 20:57



Reading Jodi Bieber's artist statement at her exhibition, Going Home ... Illegality and Repatriation, installed yesterday outside the Central Methodist Church, Pritchard Street, near Small Street Mall, Jhb.


View from the other side of the road.


Very dangerous.


His name is Jakes.


Not reading Jodi's statement. On their way to the Supreme Court. All tied up.


I wonder what show they are going to see.




They were not far behind.


It is too high for him. What are they looking at? Is this the Supreme Court?


Not too high for him.


Or him.


Jodi and the Reverend. Great women.


Curious women.


Curious man.


Sad days. Some children are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Johannes is unrepentant though he is honest about the execution. Who is the audience? What is public space? Who are the subjects? What is a refugee?

Saturday, 02 June 2012 13:25



What star is that in the sky? If you know you should mail us. Thursday night during the closing party for SHOESHOP, Johannes and I were here to see Bishop Verryn to ask for his blessing for Jodi Bieber's work about Mozambiquan refugees to be installed on the wall of the building facing Pritchard Street in Joburg. This is the outside of the Central Methodist Church in Hillbrow. Soon we would also be silhouettes, inside where hundreds of homeless people take shelter at night from what happens if you are not deemed to belong within borders you had nothing to do with, unless you count being born.


That could be you.


Inside. So could this be you. It could be a man who was on the train from Lindela being deported back home that you can see if you go see Jodi's exhibition.


This is not you I know that. On the ground floor of the church though he caught my eye. Johannes kept talking about his bag. I went to meet him and he said he understood me but he did not say his name or any other words I understood except for "free loom". I told him my name and I said comprend a few times until I felt ridiculous. He is beautiful. I asked him to write his name for me.


He wrote fast. Like a writer. A paragraph. I could be him. So could you. Neither of us are. There but for the grace ...


What is this? Must I send a letter? Is his name here? What addresses are these? Where does this man belong? Who cares about him enough? We are in a movie. We take his precious words and climb the stairs, over the piss, where we can see it. There is little light and none on the last stairwell where we find our way by feelings. Later Johannes tells me the smell reminded him of somewhere he worked long ago. I say it is rank. He says it is not. Sometimes I see shadows on his face.


We show the Bishop Jodi's whole show. Outside his office, maybe thirty people are waiting to see him. He says they are all coming to share their stories with him and each other. We could be them. We are them. I ask the Bishop about the man downstairs and his assistant Cleopatra tells us he writes on everything. I ask if he is an artist and show the Bishop his paragraph. He asks me if I will try and work it out. Perhaps it is code. I say yes. The Bishop says yes. The next day Cleopatra says he has lived there (well, at night, no one is allowed there during the day) for many years. They do not know where he is from. She says no one knows his name but she knows where to find him in the daytime near Doregos.

Thursday, 31 May 2012 13:34



Since we had to take Jodi Bieber's show for SHOESHOP down in Hillbrow and make way for the wall owners (I ask you - what is a wall owner?) to put up their cheap chicken ads (ok, fair enough, it's their wall, business is business and they did say they did not care about what we were doing right from the start), we have been hunting a good new site for sore eyes. We decided to look in Noord Street because there are so many people there and we found more than one wall (what do you do for a living? i look for walls), that would do very nicely thank you. We tried very hard to get this wall at the Park Central Shopping Centre.


But people have got their own lives. So you go, I mean Dear Johannes goes, he meets the caretaker, you get the number for the agent, or the landlord, you write emails, you send images, you leave messages, you are kind and warm and polite. And they say on the phone that it sounds great but they do not reply and they have to pass it up the ladder - which is so high (it goes up to the sky) and they say 'i am going to phone you this afternoon' but they do not - and time comes and gives you a zets up the bum because the project is about to end and you are still busy with it, obsessed with it, learning from it.

Then you get in one of those moods. And you go out again and again, from place to play and you see things.


Drive-by scary dog, End Street.


Faraday Street Market, Faraday Street. Ha.


Faraday Street Wall. A possibility. You are not sure. You move on.


Great site. Ghandi Square. Not big enough. Not allowed to take photographs here. Security everywhere. You start talking in a fantastic hybrid French accent, very loudly, you smile at security saying tourist-tourist. They leave you alone. Site not big enough. Other side has a bank ad on it for if you're serious about money. We imagine how much time it might take to get this site. We go for a walk.


Find: recent outburst about free expression. You think it is quite very rude. You find two guys looking at it. Talking about it. You still talking with this French accent, loudly. They think the Zuma painting by Brett Murray is great. They don't particularly like being called idiots. But they are having fun too. They want to know where you are from. You say Little Paris, in Troyeville and then they see right through you and everyone laughs and hugs and parts company but not before a close-up view of the horror.


It's Audinary's last day at AAW! A lot of this wild reccie and French accent is full of love for her. We are finding walls wherever we go, even if they are not right.


I am going to miss this woman. She is going to manage organic farming at the Waldorf in the Deep North. Traitor. Love of my life. Don't let anyone tell you it is not good to work with your friends. They are just jalus.


The walls agree.


We meet a fine lady outside the Central Methodist Church next to the Supreme Court in Pritchard Street. She is the famous Bishop Verryn's personal assistant. She is chopping wood and carrying water. Here we are talking about Jodi's exhibition, art, free expression and the President's little that thing.


Cleopatra is the Queen of All the World. Audrey is shining.


Inside the church we meet a beautiful man by the name of Leothere. He also works for the Bishop. This is his office window. These are his rules.


We are here to ask permission to put up Jodi's show for SHOESHOP remember. Leothaire gives us the Bishop's cell number. SHOESHOP has mail. We meet the Bishop last night and show him all the prints we want to put up on the outside wall. The church is full of people sleeping on the floor on cardboard. Johannes says the smell reminds him of where he used to live. I say it is rank. He says it is not. We meet children and a man I will never forget for the rest of my life. That's another post. Meantime, at lunchtime today, with a blessing on our heads, we are installing for Jodi on the site where hundreds and thousands of refugees from all over Joburg and Africa take shelter from the storm. Come see this brilliant exhibition - Pritchard Street near the Small Street Mall.

Thursday, 17 May 2012 11:19



On his maintenance round for SHOE SHOP, Johannes found this Mighty Cockroach. Using only three of his six legs, it had pulled one of Emmanuel Daou's photograph's half off the wall at the base of the Hillbrow Tower.


Just a block away, the same cockroach was seen relieving himself on the wall at Cambridge Food, before it sauntered off with one of Jodi Bieber's images.


Abandoned on the floor, Johannes noticed that some fair damsel had, perhaps in haste, left her slippers behind. This preoccupied him.


Returning the next day to see if he could find the feet that would fit those shoes, for they too had sauntered somewhat through his dreams, Johannes found this. Apparently the very same cockroach had a cousin, with his own posters and a sound system to go with his buy this new thing fandango, and he had stuck his own posters right over Jodi's images to advertise a new Mighty Cockroach Potion.


Distressed at his own powerlessness in the face of the city's ebb and flow, and gutted too to find no damsel, he took those very same shoes and used them as weapons to fight, singlehandedly, with the great beast. It was a dirty fight until it ended with a satisfying splat.


Later, after checking his most favourite Thabiso Sekgala's work at the bus stop opposite Woolies in Parktown North, Johannes made sure the little creep's infestation of friends would never be able to find him. When he reported in I gave him this short poem by Ann Sexton because it was her, perhaps, that left the slippers.




Roach, foulest of creatures,

who attacks with yellow teeth

and an army of cousins big as shoes,

you are lumps of coal that are mechanized

and when I turn on the light you scuttle

into the corners and there is this hiss upon the land.

Yet I know you are only the common angel

turned into, by way of enchantment, the ugliest.

Your uncle was made into an apple.

Your aunt was made into a Siamese cat,

all the rest were made into butterflies

but because you lied to God outrightly-

told him that all things on earth were in order-

He turned his wrath upon you and said,

I will make you the most loathsome,

I will make you into God's lie,

and never will a little girl fondle you

or hold your dark wings cupped in her palm.


But that was not true. Once in New Orleans

with a group of students a roach fled across

the floor and I shrieked and she picked it up

in her hands and held it from my fear for one hour.

And held it like a diamond ring that should not escape.

These days even the devil is getting overturned

and held up to the light like a glass of water.


You can go to the ShoeShop in Johannesburg,  6 De Beer Street, Braamfontein (directly opposite POST in the bright green building), to get your own favourite(s) ShoeShop poster for installation wherever you like. As the producers of the public art part of ShoeShop, Johannes Dreyer has been responsible for all the installations for AAW! The dude has that luminous eye - and he is tall, built rather very well, and does not come across like he is scared of anything ... although we know him a bit better than that. Turns out, that Thabiso Sekgala, one of the three South Africans exhibiting as part of the ShoeShop in public space, is a good friend of our Dear Johannes who loves his work. And this particular image is Mr Dreyer's favourite. So he has taken advantage of some overprinting to do a personal installation (like you might like to do), in our Most Favoured Suburb of Troyeville. It's on the corner of Appollonia, Bertram and Bezuidenhout Streets, on the left if you are travelling down towards Standard Bank Arena.


Thabiso is a Sowetan. He complete his intermediate certificate and masterclass in photography at the Market Photo Workshop, which is where he met Johannes all those years ago. In 2010, Thabiso was awarded a Tierney Fellowship and received an honourable mention in the Ernest Cole Award. Last year he was nominated for the Paul Huff Award.


Thabiso says: "As a young photographer I am interested in the social shifts in my communities and in the issues of geographical politics, and the politics surrounding issues of land ownership in South Africa. My work is a study in how young people relate to the land and their landscape. In my ongoing body of work titled Homeland, I use photography to document the former homelands ...


... I am exploring how people have created relationships with their environments and how they identify themselves to them. I believe in the idea of images created by us, the idea of self-imaging and self-imagining."

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