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Chimurenga 11 (Published – July 2007) “Conversations with Poets Who Refuse to Speak”

Features a heady mix of words and images that give voice to silence. So much has been said about speech: speaking up, speaking for oneself, not being allowed to speak, speaking for the other who’d rather speak for self, but very little is said about the virtue of silence. So much said about making oneself visible, but little said about mining the rich depths of absence. This issue is about silence, disappearing oneself as act. Though it’s often one of abdication, could it be defiance, resistance even? – a challenging idea, in a culture where struggle about seeking exposure, giving voice, making visible and all that stuff…


Inside you’ll find everything from Iranian scholar Asef Bayat writing on the quiet encroachment of the ordinary, to an unsolicited rant from Cape Town-based writer Gael Reagon, serious Melodifius thunkish funk from acclaimed British writer Geoff Dyer, sharp travel discourse from South African poet, journalist, radio producer and activist Sandile Dikeni and American criminal and author, Jack Henri Abbott‘s words about life in the hole.

Also: Christopher Wise’s search for African literary provocateur Yambo Ouologeum; Liesl Jobson on bad breasts; Anthony Joseph on the African origins of UFO; Ché via Jay Cantor on el comandante’s punitive silence; Achille Mbembe on the death of Um Nyobe; Suren Pillay on making pictures; Nwando Mbanugo to the little red hat of power; Eric Darton on what to say when its time to speak; Stacy Hardy on Julius Eastman’s caged negratas; Conceição Evaristo on strange fruits; Neelika Jayawardane on Gitmo and Ed Pavlic on unannounced winners.

Images include Ralph Lemon‘s spaceship drawings, Mario Benjamin‘s unnamed ghosts, Matthew Goniwe minutes before he was gunned down, the Black Ark, drawings from the Ramallah Underground, and ‘Declensions in Blue’, an essay on what silence looks like featuring images by David Hammons, Gordon Parks, Herve Youmbi and Moustapha Dime. The cover is ‘Sarkozy, Fanon and the jazz baroness’, a remix of the cover art of Monk’s Underground.

Webvert – by Stacy Hardy and François Naudé.


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