The Rosebank Catholic Church

They say ‘write what you know’ – so I thought I’d start this project off with Catholicism. I was brought up Catholic (I was dragged to Mass by my mother each Sunday, practically kicking and screaming). I remember how our parish priest, Fr Kelly, would ensure his lips extracted the very last drop of wine from the chalice after communion. Just before wiping the golden cup and putting it away, he’d tip it riiiight back and have a good sluk. I also remember him urgently puffing on a cigarette – still in his vestments – the minute he was outside after Mass and shaking people’s hands.

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A most extraordinary house

I first heard about ‘the Gordon Road house’ through my previous landlord, Toni Morkel. Along with stories about Bez Valley, she also told me about a house that she once lived in. The house, which is located on Gordon Road in a now derelict, forgotten part of the city called Bertrams, sounded like a fascinating and curious place – it was an abode of mostly fun, some pain, and a lot of history. And behind its two remaining bay windows, lived three pyrotechnic brothers – the Taylor brothers – who could bend your ear with stories about art, drugs, and Joburg…

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Toni Morkel – performer & theatre-maker

The first time I met Toni, I was roped in to ‘push the buttons’ on a cheap CD player that balanced on a wonky stool. Toni was rehearsing a scene for a play (The Last Show) in her front room with Roberto Pombo, and it was my job to press play, according to certain cues. I missed said cues because I was completely mesmerised by her performance – even though it was ‘just a rehearsal’, it was clear to me that Toni was a hugely talented performer.

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In God’s Land: An exploration of Yeoville Ridge

I have found a place – in the middle of the city – where I can feel god. This place is hard to find: it requires a detour through Yeoville via Rocky Street, and a vague gut-certainty that you’re making the right turns. You’ll pass some black and white Shakespeare painted on walls, until you reach a hill.

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Scrap Ink: When form meets chaos

Frederick Clarke seems a little hesitant when he shakes my hand. “Are you nervous?” I ask. “No, no it’s not that.” Long pause. He continues, “The less people know about me the better, which is why I’m apprehensive about interviews. I don’t really want to talk about me, and I’d much rather talk to you about the world.”

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Burning rubber, and money

I have a story to tell – it’s a story of change,” says Muntu Vilakazi. His current solo exhibition, entitled The Politics of Bling: An Eastrand Culture Quest, brings South Africa’s socio-economic changes – for the good, and for the worse – into sharp focus…

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