art | from where i stand: maboneng photo diary

as the official first week of my holiday draws to a close and my older sister is about to return to cape town, a last-ditch effort to enjoy johannesburg was made by the three of us which resulted in a beautiful morning at the his people rosebank church, followed by a wonderful afternoon in the maboneng precinct in town. similar to the braamfontein/neighbourgoods vibe, maboneng is filled with food, drinks, fashion, but in particular, art. there are galleries upon galleries filled with trippy and beautiful exhibitions and people proclaiming “these hipsters…” with less venom than draco malfoy spat ‘mudblood’, but only just. it’s days like this that make me wish i could art, but since i can’t, i just want to enjoy it and be absorbed by it. my sisters and i took turns being typical hipster/tourists posing with graffiti and street art, only on the premise that no one actually knows us so their judgement is meaningless (or so we [or i] told ourselves). lime cordial beverages and passion fruit slushies, chicken curries, falafels and burgers – the smell of crepes and ethiopian coffee and the subtle clicks of cameras, today was a day to revel in johannesburg and the culture it provides; to feel like a cool kid and rebel against the system by walking (douchebaggily) in the road. God-willing if i go to cape town next year, i know that it may seem better than this, but it can never feel the same as this.

like i mentioned in the princess of nubia , there is a certain aspect of security in the suburbs – the streets are clean, the walls are clean, and though there are diverse cultures, they all coexist homogeneously. in the cbd, in town, you get to really see the culture. you see people dressing how they wish to dress if people wouldn’t look down at them and sneer hipster…, you see the ankara incorporated goods, you see the kente, the shwe-shwe, the ndebele beads, the craft beer, the newly imported (from stellenbosch, probably) wine, the art based on our own achievements as a nation, the photographs of our real people – when you escape the microcosm of suburbia, you open your mind and understand that what you think/feel/see/believe is not all that there is. it’s sobering and liberating and humbling and exciting all at the same time. it fills me with a hope that despite everything occurring in my life at the moment, there is more than that in the world, waiting for me to grasp it. it’s that hope that sometimes just gets you through the day.

maboneng was a great day. i took many pictures but here are a chosen few. read more for more 🙂

because frida kahlo.
if germany doesn’t win tonight, i may need some of these

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