Showing posts with label South Africa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label South Africa. Show all posts

Friday, August 31, 2012

South Africa's Great Advertising [Creative] Divide

Over @ the Daily Maverick, Mandy de Waal has a much discussed piece about South Africa’s extremely white advertising industry, and why she thinks it continues as "a colonial enclave where racial polarisation is rife and the best profits are being creamed by a handful of foreign-owned advertising companies." But it is the quote from the Association of Black Communications Practitioners' spokesperson, Taelo Immanuel, that sets up the video clip below:
“There’s a white creative director and a black team, and when they try and talk to each other there’s that chasm because of their respective upbringing. The references are vastly different. As a result there’s a cult of viewing life in an American way through hip hop, movies and music videos,” said Immanuel, who maintained that because of this the advertising mirror that reflects black culture back to South Africans is warped. What we’re seeing isn’t a true reflection of real South African life, but a perversion of its peoples and culture. “In terms of advertising work that speaks to your everyday black South African—say, for instance, my own parents—it is very difficult to find creative work like that. You just don’t get work that has real insight into the South African condition. Instead agencies and brands go to film, and there are black people singing and dancing and they slap in whatever product they want to sell,” said Immanuel. 
One of those American references for white South Africans Immanuel was referring to above was the Cosby Show. Watch the first 3 mins of the 2009 interview with South African director Gavin Hood to get an idea of how huge, for white South Africans, the Huxtables were and the gratitude owed to Bill Cosby.

Friday, July 20, 2012

To Albert, Mukhtar and African Bus Drivers Everywhere...

That story of Albert from South Africa's First National Bank TV ad (above) feels inspired by the birthday story of a real African bus driver in Copenhagen called Mukhtar,  who was the very surprised subject of a flash mob back in 2009.


 Mukhtar's flash mobbed birthday was also an ad - more here

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Johannesburg's Bioscope Cinema Print Ads

These print ads published in August 2011 for The Bioscope, Johannesburg's only independent art house and cultural cinema, cooly scream "glocal". They strike that modern balance between Hollywood's global influence and a Johannesburg reinterpretation/appropriation:

More bioscope ads - here.

Advertising Agency: Volcano, Johannesburg, South Africa
Creative Directors: Francois Boshoff, Glenn Jeffery
Art Director: Francois Boshoff
Photographer: Sheldon Windrim

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Die Artwoord Breaks Down the Word "Faggot"

Die Artwoord forgoes a million dollar guarantee on their new record, Ten$ions, with Interscope after the label had problems with their new single below - Fok Julle Naaiers ("Fuck you all," loosely)- for the use of the word "faggot." More - here. Ninja explains above why they ditched Interscope and are going for complete creative independence and why the word "faggot" has no power over them or their band mate, DJ Hi-Tek, who happens to be gay.

According to Ninja:
DJ Hi-Tek texts the word "faggot" everytime; he's taken that word and made it his bitch.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Curious Times in Cape Town

Developed at Saatchi & Saatchi, Cape Town, the Curious Times ad takes some time to build, but the lesson is sure worth the wait. Creative director Sammy-Jane Thom, art director Gareth Cohen, copywriter Alex Goldberg, agency produce Lee-Anne Jacobz, account manager Sheharazaad Allie. Animation was produced at Conduit Productions. Sound was designed at Soft Light City.

H/T: inspiration room

Where's the Beef, Bishop Tutu?

After the South African government--in the pocket of China--refuse, again, to grant the Dalai Lama a visa to visit the South Africa, chicken joint Nandos couldn't resist...

Agency: Black River FC

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Yesterfang's 'Bad Man He Comin' Video...

... for Mr.Cat & the Jackal:

Stellenbosch, South Africa, based animation and puppetry studio Yesterfang's bio - here

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Robotics Research in South Africa

Keith Campbell writes in Engineering News about South African's Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and its research in "niche areas" where robotics may be of help to South Africans.
South Africa cannot remotely match the scale of these investments – military or civil. Yet, the country cannot ignore field robotics either. It is becoming too important, too dynamic – a field relevant to many areas of human endeavour. Consequently, the CSIR is undertaking research into field robotics through the formation of the Mobile Intelligent Autonomous Systems (Mias) group. “This is an emerging research area for the CSIR, so it is different from a competence area,” explains Mias group leader Dr Simukai Utete. “Our group targets niche areas which address national needs – niche areas which are of relevance to [our] society. We are very concerned about capacity development in robotics.”
Why the area of "field robotics"?
They just do their tasks. Field robotics is relatively new. Field robots are in-between industrial robots and science-fiction. They operate in unstructured environments but in limited roles. They can act autonomously. Some can operate with people safely. Some have limited learning ability,” explains mining robotics project manager Liam Candy. The group has projects in the field of mining robotics, vehicle robotics, intelligent manipulation and active vision for autonomous systems.
 H/T: allAfrica

Reverberations will be Embedded

"Come get it" from UK based SA female MC Noni Zondi, signed to Nigerian label Big Boyz Entertainment. Reminds us of Dama Do Bling rather than Lady Gaga.

Below, mash up of the year by Amerigo Gazaway combines Fela and De La Soul and comes up with "Fela Soul," or the definition of "Gummy Soul."

H/T: Just OK and Okay Player.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Blacks and South African Opera

AFP's Justine Gerardy explains the emergence of so many black opera stars in South Africa:
South African black opera voices have burst onto the international stage, mirroring the country's shift to democracy, decades after white Afrikaner soprano Mimi Coertse debuted at the Vienna State Opera in 1956. Experts say their rise is no sudden outpouring of new talent but rather that all-race freedom in 1994 levelled the playing field to allow those with remarkable gifts who were stifled under apartheid to enter the game. "At the moment our best singers are black," said Virginia Davids, head of vocal studies at the South African College of Music based at the University of Cape Town. South Africans can be found from Tel Aviv to London, with soprano Pumeza Matshikiza performing at Monaco's royal wedding-- where the principality's Prince Albert II married South African Charlene Wittstock in July -- and Sweden-based Dimande Nkosazana taking first prize in a competition in Italy. more
Above, clip of opera singers Lunga Tubu and Nkululeko Maphoyi from Laura Gamse's 2010 documentary, Creators.

Friday, September 2, 2011

South Africa: Little Girls in Big Shoes Commercials - Ad Love

Two recent ads from South Africa for an ad savvy bank and investment house adopt similar thematics:

Advertising Agency: MetropolitanRepublic, South Africa

Advertising Agency: KingJames, Cape Town, South Africa

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

South Africa: History of (the Idea of) the Diamond

Kottke digs up an article by Edward Jay Epstein from the Feb 1982 issue of Atlantic Monthly, explaining how diamonds became so popular and so valuable. It's a story about monopoly and the power of advertising. Excerpts:
The diamond invention—the creation of the idea that diamonds are rare and valuable, and are essential signs of esteem—is a relatively recent development in the history of the diamond trade. Until the late nineteenth century, diamonds were found only in a few riverbeds in India and in the jungles of Brazil, and the entire world production of gem diamonds amounted to a few pounds a year. In 1870, however, huge diamond mines were discovered near the Orange River, in South Africa, where diamonds were soon being scooped out by the ton. Suddenly, the market was deluged with diamonds. The British financiers who had organized the South African mines quickly realized that their investment was endangered; diamonds had little intrinsic value—and their price depended almost entirely on their scarcity. The financiers feared that when new mines were developed in South Africa, diamonds would become at best only semiprecious gems....
....The diamond invention is far more than a monopoly for fixing diamond prices; it is a mechanism for converting tiny crystals of carbon into universally recognized tokens of wealth, power, and romance. To achieve this goal, De Beers had to control demand as well as supply. Both women and men had to be made to perceive diamonds not as marketable precious stones but as an inseparable part of courtship and married life. To stabilize the market, De Beers had to endow these stones with a sentiment that would inhibit the public from ever reselling them. The illusion had to be created that diamonds were forever -- "forever" in the sense that they should never be resold.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Southern Africa: History of Punk

Six minute trailer for Punk in Africa, a documentary by Keith Jones and Deon Maas which premiered a DIFF last month. iOl's Therese Owen:
The film, which took two years to produce, focuses on the punk sub-culture within the political and social upheavals in three southern African countries – South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. In these societies, punk represented a radical political impulse, playing out against a backdrop of intense political struggle. The history of punk, particularly in South Africa, began in the late 1970s and was a multi-racial movement. Punk in Africa features interviews with musicians from bands such as Suck, Wild Youth, Powerage, National Wake and the Kalahari Surfers. It also deals with the militant anti-apartheid punk bands of the 1980s and comprehensively follows the movement to today, with bands such as 340ml, Hog Hoggidy Hog, Fruits & Veggies and Sibling Rivalry.
Luke Mason @ Mahala:
The film started out telling the amazing, untold story of resistance and music under the apartheid regime. Ageing punks stare wild eyed into the camera and reminisce about the days of vigour and angst, proud of what they did and the courage that it took to stand up for what they believed in, or rather, against what they didn’t. Well researched, well told, the pre-apartheid section of the movie, although not hell-of-a cinematic, is difficult to find fault with. But then apartheid ends and the wheels fall off...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Africa: Videos for Ongoing African Contemporary Art Exhibits @ the Tate and MoMA

First collaboration between the Tate Modern and an art institution based on the continent, in this case the Center of Contemporary Art, Lagos.

Above, Adolphus Opara (Nigeria) on his portraits of Nigerian diviners posed in the manner of classic Victorian portraiture and Michael MacGarry (South Africa) talks you through works investigating the ongoing ramifications of imperialism in Africa. Kader Attia (France) talks his images projected in "Open Your Eyes" and Sammy Baloji (DRC) walks you through archival photos about mineral extraction powerfully reconstituted around new realities of mineral extraction in the DRC.

BBC slideshow - here. Reviews by Africa Art in London - here & Africa is a Country - here.

Below Justice Albie Sachs, one of the first judges appointed to South Africa’s new Constitutional Court by Nelson Mandela in 1994, walks with curator Judy Hecker through the exhibition Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to Now, still showing @ MoMA:

More @ the show's blog.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

South Africa: Documenting Currents of Subversive Art

Washington, DC screening of Laura Gamse's documentary, Creators, August 15 - 20: @ the Music and Independent Film Festival, US Navy Memorial Museum Burke Theater.

Doc weaves through the growing current of subversive art clashing and merging South Africa’s many cultures. More here. Love the clips below:

Friday, August 5, 2011

South Africa: The Revolution will be Embedded

Bodies Of Water - Wrestlerish. Album: "Towns" 2011.

Lead singer: Werner Olckers
Genre: Bushveld introspection

Friday, July 29, 2011

South Africa: Writing and the Rising Black Middle Class

Reviewing the new anthology African Pens 2011: New Writing from Southern Africa, with stories selected by JM Coetzee, literary critic Chetty Kavish  asks over at Mahala how an anthology of new Southern African writing does not include writing from a single black Southern African author. Chetty offers an hypothesis:
... Black embourgeoisement [in South Africa] is a (relatively, as ever) recent phenomenon. Hence, the amount of black students who find themselves coming from families which genuinely place cultural capital and value on metaphysics, romantic poetry, Oedipus Rex and/or psychoanalysis is likely to be slim. I’m not suggesting that there is some definable lifeline pumping from the study of the arts into the production of writers, but the interdependency between the two is possibly something worth exploring. I’m sure there is some other naked theorising here to account for this fact, and if yours grips you in the right place, slather it all over the comment threads.

But in the judgment of art, there are two poles: the producers and the assessors. Sleuthing around the back of this book with an agenda in mind, I discover that there isn’t a black dude or dudette on the editorial board or reading panel either. I’m trying my best not to sledgehammer race into what is simply a curiosity of the way classes emerge and consolidate in a fairly fresh democracy – but I think we have a puzzle on our hands here. Is it possible to compile a volume called African Pens without (strictly speaking) an African anywhere in the process? (more)
Perhaps the question ought to be: when will the the blood in the lifeline become thoroughly thickened with the blood of Southern Africa's rising black middle class and privilege?

Speaking of new black Southern African writing,  below is a panel from Mail & Guardian 2010 Literary Festival led by Wits university Leon de Kock which includes South African authors Thando Mgqolozana and Zukiswa Wanner:

Monday, June 27, 2011

South Africa: The Revolution will be Embedded

First listen off SA rapper/DJ Spoek Mathambo's forthcoming album "Put Some Red on It" from Indy label Subpop -- follow up to 2010 album "Mshini Wam" (here/ here) and its Pieter Hugo and Michael Cleary helmed video, "Control", which just won a young directors award @ Cannes. Subpop's got the rest of the skinny:
The entire Put Some Red On It EP was produced by Spoek Mathambo in collaboration with Copenhagen-based future-bass artist, Chllngr. They succeeded in creating works that show exciting signs of the maturity that Spoek is reaching in both his songwriting and production work. The track “Put Some Red On It” is a wildly-performed, sleazy and bass-y take on the usually all-too-macabre story of conflict/blood diamonds. Written and sung with Spoek’s spouse, Ana Rab, the dark duet cleverly articulates the tensions that lie behind the diamond market, while slyly telling a true South African story (more)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

South Africa: Power Class

Images in reference to the rise of South Africa's black elite class and displays of power, especially the kind that comes from the right to bear arms. Above a TimesLive slideshow of ANC Youth League president Julius Malema arriving for his hate speech case (blogged here/ he has now apologized - here) at the Gauteng South High Court with a coterie of seven bodyguards toting brand new assault rifles on Monday. Below, a clip from Simon Wood's new documentary, Forerunners: South Africa's New Middle Class.


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