15th May2017

Goodbye for Now

by admin

Hi everyone,

This week is our last edition for the semester and our talented team have written amazing articles for you to enjoy. Stephanie Schaffrath, inspired by the five lion fugitives in Nelspruit, has written a lighthearted piece discussing misguided stereotypes of Africa. Thabisile Miya has a list of South African YouTube vloggers that we all need to check out- because as they say, local truly is lekker. We have also included Sandiswa Tshabalala’s Response to “The Millenial Question” which won the Wits Mail & Guardian writing competition. The recent murder in Coligny,North West has inspired Jabulile Mbatha to write a piece decrying the presence of anti-black racism in post-apartheid South Africa. Finally, Veli Mnisi reflects on how #MenAreTrash demonstrates the violence of heteronormative, hegemonic masculine norms.

We hope that you enjoy this edition and good luck to everyone writing exams during this exam period.

Until next semester.

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress team of 2017

Tech Savvy

08th May2017

It’s All About Communication

by admin

Hi everyone,

This week our talented team have put together a small edition for all of you to enjoy. Obvious Nomaele gives us an introduction to the LGBTIAQ+ community because, as we all know, information is power. Naledi Khumalo gives a brief lesson on the various models of communication covered in the Media Studies syllabus. Finally, Sandiswa Sondzaba reviews this year’s Met Gala.

We hope that you enjoy this penultimate edition for the semester.

Have a great week,

Sandiswa and the 2017 exPress imPress team

All About Communication

08th May2017

Report Card: 2017 Met Gala

by admin

Rei Kawakubo

This year’s Met Gala had one of the toughest dress codes for the attendees. Paying tribute to the avant-garde fashion designer, Rei Kawakubo, the Met Gala attendees had to bring their avant-garde/glamour A-game to the Oscars of fashion. Rihanna stole the show by wearing a Rei Kawakubo/Comme Des Garçons creation that defied definition. Considering that Kawakubo uses design to challenge conventional notions of beauty, Rihanna was arguably the best-dressed guest with a deconstructed Swan Lake number that was paired with a pair of red sandals that were laced all the way up her legs.

Rihanna

Co-host Pharrell William’s wife, Helen Lasichanh, wore a bright-red off-the-runway piece from the design house’s most recent show. The piece had no sleeves or armholes which demonstrated the designer’s avant-garde sensibility. Jaden Smith embraced the spirit of the dress codes whilst remaining loyal to Louis Vuitton by carrying a clutch of his recently shorn dreadlocks. Katy Perry, not to be outdone by Rihanna and company, wore a scarlet red costume by John Galliano for Maison Margiela that was elaborate. Priyanka Chopra wore a Ralph Lauren trenchcoat-dress that brought to mind Rihanna’s bright yellow train dress from the 2015 Met Gala. Met Gala favourite, Solange Knowles, did not disappoint with her Thom Browne shiny puffer jacket- that was complete with a train. Cara Delevingne, dressed by Chanel, painted her bald head with a feathered silver paint that was studded with crystals.

Katy PerryPriyanka Chopra

On the other hand, Kim Kardashian-West was resplendent in a white Vivienne Westwood gown. Her gown had remnants of the white gown that opened Comme Des Garçons show in March. The dress could be seen as part of a performance art project relating to fame, wealth, and femininity in the 21st century. Kardashian-West, in an Ellen DeGeneres interview, recently renounced materialism. The peasant stylings of the dress and lack of over-the-top jewellery was a fantastic accompaniment to her recent denunciation.

Kim Kardashian-West

When I first heard about this year’s theme for the Met Gala, I was really excited as it marks the beginning of Rei Kawakubo receiving the recognition she deserves. Kawakubo is a publicity-shy figure who never takes a bow at the finale of her Paris-set fashion shows. At the beginning of her career, Kawakubo’s work was dismissed as being post-atomic. Kawakubo has succeeded in radically challenging everyday ideas in a manner that has been commercially and creatively successful. Kawakubo’s work has evolved over the years. The brand has 230 storefronts and franchise outlets outside of Japan, 17 brands under the Comme Des Garçons brand, three flagship locations in New York, Paris and Tokyo, and an annual turnover of $250m. She has a loyal fanbase among customers and designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Nicolas Ghesquière, Phoebe Philo, and Marc Jacobs . She has demonstrated her genius through starting the pop-up shop trend, and collaborating with famed architects (Future Systems) to collaborate on the New York flagship store in 1998. All of her creative and commercial decisions prove that Kawakubo is a visionary who deserves credit for greatly influencing the modern fashion industry.

 

30th Apr2017

Speaking Truth to Power

by admin

Hi everyone,

In this edition, a few of our writers have written pieces for you to enjoy. In Happiness is a Four Letter Word, Naledi Khumalo writes a beautiful tribute to her best friend, fellow writer Obvious Nomaele. Zinhle Khumalo addresses colourism in South Africa’s black community. Finally, Sandiswa Tshabalala shares her poem #TriggerWarning which critically addresses South Africa’s normative violent rape culture. Although few in number, these articles are thought-provoking and truly speak truth to power.

Until the next edition,

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress team of 2017

Speak Truth to Power

24th Apr2017

Freedom in All of its Colours

by admin

Black Culture in the UK

Hi everyone,

This week our talented team have written articles that, coincidentally, address all of the complexities within contemporary black culture. Sandiswa Sondzaba shares her excitement over the fashion industry’s recent embracing of past and contemporary black subcultures. Kendrick Lamar has proven to be one of this generation’s most talented artists. Azola Jokweni discusses why he believes that Kendrick Lamar is the greatest rapper of his generation. Molebogeng Mokoka explains why our condemnation of Khanyi Mbau over her decision to lighten her skin complexion is highly problematic. Finally, Jabulile Mbatha critiques King Mswati III’s desire to ban divorce in Swaziland. Our talented writers have illustrated the complex issues that currently come with black culture- in all of its various forms. We sincerely hope that you will enjoy reading these thought-provoking articles.

Have a wonderful week of freedom,

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress team of 2017

24th Apr2017

Fashionable Diversity

by admin

All-Black

2017 has been a significant year for diversity in the fashion industry. In February, we had Marc Jacobs debut a collection that was explicitly inspired by hip-hop http://observer.com/2017/02/this-season-marc-jacobs-was-inspired-by-the-history-of-hip-hop/). Jacobs explained that his collection was inspired by the four-part documentary Hip-Hop Evolution which covers the hip-hop industry from the 70s to the 90s and features luminaries like Grandmaster Flash. In his show notes, Jacobs explains that, the “collection is my representation of the well-studied dressing up of casual sportswear. It is an acknowledgement and gesture of my respect for the polish and consideration applied to fashion from a generation that will forever be the foundation of youth culture street style”.

Gucci has seemingly followed in Jacobs’ lead through their pre-fall campaign that features an all-black model cast. The campaign is a tribute to Northern Soul which is different to the sci-fi vibe of the house’s Autumn/Winter 2017 show. The images were inspired by last year’s Made You Look exhibition at the Photographer’s Gallery. The exhibition was highly influential, exploring black masculinity and Dandyism (a counterculture that has also inspired the visuals in Solange Knowles’ Losing You music video). The campaign was further inspired by Malick Sidibe, the iconic 1960s photographer renowned for his black and white studio portraits, and Northern Soul. Northern Soul was a 1960s movement inspired by black American soul music that made clubs like the Wigan Casino famous. The campaign features both dancers and models, showing the splits and backdrops associated with the subculture’s dance style.

Titled ‘Soul Scene’, the Glen Luchford-shot campaign features only people of colour. This is significant considering that the industry has increasingly come under fire for the lack of diversity on runways and advertising campaigns. Runways, particularly, have been criticised for the lack of diverse castings. The most recent incident revolved around the agent James Scully, who took to Instagram to criticise the whitewashed Parisian catwalks and the mistreatment of models at a Balenciaga casting.

Although these are only two campaigns, they demonstrate that fashion is moving in the right direction. Coupled with the historic appointment of Edward Enninful as the new editor of British Vogue, the fashion industry is beginning to embrace diversity. Although some may say that these are just examples of how the fashion industry is embracing tokenism, I would like to argue that this is not the case. We are currently witnessing a black man take the helm at one of the industry’s most influential publications. As written in my previous article, Enninful is serious about increasing diversity within the industry. People like Enninful understand that the diversity-problem is serious as diverse representations are what will make the fashion industry’s influence more sustainable. I believe this we have not seen the last of these campaigns celebrating diversity.

Gucci Campaign

16th Apr2017

Breaking Boundaries

by admin

Hi everyone,

I trust that you have all had a wonderful Easter weekend surrounded by loved ones. This week our talented team of writers have, yet again, written amazing articles for us to enjoy. Naledi Khumalo discusses why she does not believe that Roman Catholic priests can be married. Zinhle Maeko explores black conservative Christian parents’ disapproval of their children’s body modification. Sandiswa Tshabalala provides insight into the politics of black womxn’s hair. Molebogeng Mokoko explains why she does not approve of labels. Tsholonang Rapoo implores us to place greater value on same-sex relationships. Finally, Sandiswa Sondzaba reports on Edward Enninful’s recent appointment as the new editor of British Vogue magazine.

Hope that you have a wonderful week and that you enjoy this week’s edition of exPress imPress.

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress team of 2017

Breaking Boundaries

16th Apr2017

The New Man in Vogue

by admin

This week was a big one in print-fashion as it was announced on Monday, 10 April 2017, that Edward Enninful would be the new editor-in-chief of British Vogue. His appointment, a year after British Vogue celebrated its centenary year, means that he will be replacing British Vogue’s longstanding editor Alexandra Shulman.  Enninful’s appointment is even more significant considering that he is the first black male editor of any Vogue publication. So who is this man who is to become one of fashion’s most powerful figures?

Edward Enninful is a Ghanaian-born British fashion and style director whose work has been described (by Conde Nast’s International Chief Executive Jonathan Newman) as having reached “landmark status in recent cultural history”. As contributing editor at Italian Vogue, he oversaw the publication’s “all-black” issue in 2008 which sold out in the US and UK in 72 hours. Eventually, an extra 40,000 copies of the issue was printed and distributed by Conde Nast. The issue was regarded as a cultural watershed in an industry that exclusively values Euro-centric beauty standards. Besides Italian Vogue, Enninful has served as fashion and style director at W magazine where he has championed the diversity of models and celebrities. Among his favourite subjects are Academy Award-nominated Irish/Ethiopian actress Ruth Negga, Naomi Campbell, Rihanna, and Jourdan Dunn. Campbell is a close friend who accompanied Enninful when he received his Order of the British Empire (OBE) last year.

Enninful is tirelessly champions increasing diversity within fashion. Having worked in fashion since the 1980s, he has spoken of how changing the industry requires having people of all ethnic backgrounds in all parts of the industry. According to him, substantive change can only come from actors working within the industry. Enninful is in a good position to effect significant change within fashion as his three decade-long career has left him enviously well-connected. He regularly works with Steven Meisel- incidentally one of the most in-demand photographers in fashion. Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss hosted a party to celebrate his receiving an OBE for his services to fashion and diversity. He is close friends with Marc Jacobs, the former creative director of Louis Vuitton. Being that well-connected will, no doubt, increase British Vogue’s profile internationally.

At 44, Enninful is relatively young. This means that as editor of British Vogue, a younger perspective will be introduced. His strength lies in creating strong images which aim to “talk about the times we live in”. It is unclear as to whether Enninful will continue to style editorial shoots, but his strong social media presence (with 483,000 Instagram followers) means that there will be a blending of the digital and print sides of British Vogue. Seeing off competition from other candidates such as Vogue deputy editor Emily Sheffield and the Financial Times’ Jo Ellison, he represents Conde Nast’s ambition to drive British Vogue in a new direction. Enninful undoubtedly uses fashion to provide social commentary, as evidenced by his “I am an immigrant” video (featuring 81 leading fashion figures) which was compiled in response to Donald Trump’s attempted Muslim Ban. His talent as an artistic director, notwithstanding, Enninful’s appointment signals a new future for British Vogue which is definitely something worth celebrating.

Edward-Enninful

27th Mar2017

Identity

by admin

Identity

Hi everyone,

In this week’s edition of the blog, our talented writers have explored the issue of identity. Stephanie Schaffrath, after walking past the Israeli Apartheid Week exhibitions, wonders as to whether we can live in a world without any labels. Obvious Nomaele derides Christianity’s judgement of members of the LGBTIAQ+ community and makes a call for greater compassion for members of the community. Sandiswa Sondzaba discusses how Brenda Fassie complicated our understanding of the ideal black womxnhood in post-apartheid South Africa. Sandiswa Tshabalala discusses the toxicity of hegemonic masculinity. Finally, Sandiswa Tshabalala shares a poem which celebrates the strength of black womxn.

I hope that you will have a restful research break.

Until the next edition,

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress team of 2017.

27th Mar2017

Being a Good African Girl

by admin

On 1 February, Beyonce used Instagram to announce her pregnancy with twins. Of course her announcement went viral, with many going on Twitter to exclaim that her news had saved 2017. The following day, she released a highly referential, avante-garde photo essay on her website. The photo essay was a collaborative effort with several photographers, including Awol Erizku, and had references and allusions that centred her in a long, historical visual narrative around motherhood and womanhood. The visuals referenced included The Madonna and Child, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, and the African water goddess Mami Wata. Moreover, Beyonce made use of these references during her performance at the 2017 Grammy Awards, using her performance to pay tribute to motherhood and divine mythologies around fertility and motherhood. However, not everyone is a fan of Beyonce’s deification of motherhood. Naomi Schaefer Riley, in her op-ed piece Having a Baby Isn’t a Miracle and Doesn’t Make You a Goddess, criticizes Beyonce’s visual references as being a form of pagan fertility worship. Riley goes on to criticize society’s deification of motherhood. That critique makes sense; however, Riley seemingly reduces motherhood to a banal performativity without any consideration for why Beyonce, a black woman, would feel the need to deify black motherhood within our globalized misogynoir society.

 

This is not the first time that black feminist icons have been unfairly criticized for celebrating their blackness. Brenda Fassie, patronisingly characterized as the Madonna of the Townships, was an icon who problematized societal narratives around black womanhood. Brenda Fassie was an icon who, besides recording multiple classics such as Weekend Special, had a profound impact young (black) women’s self-esteem and psychosocial energies. Regardless of the progressive tenets within our Constitution, South Africa is a deeply conservative and patriarchal society. Black womanhood- and black women’s sexualities are consistently under the heteronormative patriarchal gaze that manifests itself through virginity testing, high levels of gender based violence, and rampant homophobia. Homophobic attitudes have been problematized, with the Somizi Mhlongo’s highly publicized recent walkout of a Grace Bible Church sermon that discussed the “unnaturalness” of homosexuality. That Brenda Fassie dared to be proudly queer in the 1990s and early 2000s is an act of transgression that we have yet to uncover within our collective imagination. Seemingly Brenda Fassie’s queerness has become invisibilized within the mainstream media’s memorialization of her music and legacy as late- and post-apartheid South African artist. Brenda Fassie audaciously spoke of her multiple male and female lovers. Later on in her life, she came out as lesbian; yet, she dared to self-identify as a good African woman. This self-identification complicated our understanding of black femininity.Within mainstream understandings of black African femininity, a woman is either good or bad. A good woman is virginal whilst the bad woman is lascivious and self-destructive.

 

Without a doubt Brenda Fassie was self-destructive. However, she was revolutionary in that she used her music (and her life) to challenge the legacy of ownership over black bodies and their sexuality. She embodied this rebellion in her later life as she chose to sing exclusively in South Africa’s indigenous languages. She used the public exposure of her private life to inform her music and activism. Brenda Fassie used her celebrity and proud embrace of her sexuality to challenge our understandings of what a good African woman is/was. Brenda Fassie commanded us to love her as she was: a sexual black woman. If we truly did love her, then we should start to embrace her complex and transgressive legacy as a queer black woman existing within post-apartheid South Africa’s political milieu.

Brenda Fassie

 

Pages:12345»
persuasive essays for high school students help writing a research paper thesis writing solutions pre written persuasive speeches get your english assignment done for you