Poptartology: Jesus is a black woman

2013-05-26 06:00

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Delusions and grandeur

My colleagues at the salt mine and I have relied heavily on this blog for journalists this week.

News Cat Gifs imagines journalists were cats because the internet can. It also offers delusions of grandeur that we find useful when on deadline. Here’s what happens when your story causes the downfall of a corrupt individual:

Time travelling sloths in a man-made forest

I blame Lauren Beukes for playing a part in the insane rise of the sloth meme. This one is what it feels like when a source starts hitting on you:

Her breakout novel Zoo City featured a sloth as one of the heroes. (Don’t ask, just buy it and read for yourself.) Now the South African speculative fiction star is on a world tour promoting her latest, The Shining Girls. It’s about a time-travelling serial killer and it’s rocking the bestseller lists around the world. The result?

Stories like this one from Cape Town have started cropping up. A UCT student placed this advert on Gumtree, calling all time travellers.

“I have built a time machine and it will take us back to the Year 1. This isn’t a hoax, so if you’re interested in embarking on this life-changing journey then contact me via email,” he wrote. Sadly, or happily, dear readers, he has received numerous responses.

He better be careful or he will find himself the subject of an investigation by the brilliant new project Africa Check  which fact checks reports about the continent.

This week they exposed the BBC for their bizarre claims about the suffering of whites in post-apartheid South Africa which gave us all a tingly, politically smug feeling … Until they turned their attention on one of Joburg’s founding myths.

Joburg, we always tell visitors, is in fact the world’s largest man-made forest. Uh. Not.

Caught my eye

Tired of cats? Here’s a Tumblr that offers a cruel and unusual use of stock photography to comment on the brutality of corporate culture.

Picture: Corporate Spirit

When days were dark and the internet was few

Once, when the internet was young, people used to beliebe in Justin Timberlake. Retronaut dug up this blast from the past.

Picture: Retronaut

The good queens of Limpopo

Poptarts of note, this week, are the brave queens who entered Limpopo’s first drag beauty pageant. It’s one thing to be out and about in the city, it’s another in the socially conservative zones.

Hats off to activist and photographer Zanele Muholi’s blog, Inkanyiso. Tracking queer love, lesbian hate crimes and the politics of gender, they took time out to join in the pageantry.

Picture: Inkanyiso

Their story is titled “Actually, absolutely, definitely, NO!” and it refers to a comment made by a dizzy queen when asked what part of her body she didn’t like. We all know what she means, though. There isn’t an inch of herself she isn’t proud of.

Unless, of course, that was her prepared answer to any question she may be asked. There are lots more photos over here.


It’s really very easy. All you need is some shades and a bad bow tie and you too can find yourself on the red carpet, quaffing bubbly and Instagramming with celebrities.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news this week that someone decided to gatecrash Cannes by impersonating the Gangnam Style star. Naomie Harris fell for it.

Let’s hope we fall for her Winnie Mandela in Long Walk to Freedom, on sale at Cannes this year and racking up territories.

Picture: Gawker/Twitter

Poptarts of the Week: Kudzanai Chiurai and Azania Mosaka

Popular radio host Azania Mosaka has taken on a new role – as the star of an experimental film. She is portraying the latest black female Jesus in award-winning artist Kudzanai Chiurai’s growing body of film work. The still that Chiurai sent me this week is a thing of beauty.

Azania Mosaka in Moyo. Picture: Richard Muller

In Moyo, which premiered at the !Kauru African Contemporary Exhibition in Pretoria on Friday night, Azania has been crucified and is being tended to by Botshelo Motuba in the role of Mary, who sings as she cleans her wounds.

“I was inspired by the images of Andries Tatane being held up by another man after he had been shot. It forms a kind of Pietà,” said Chiurai this week.

“It references older images like Hector Pieterson being carried in the streets in 1976 after he was killed. It taps images from all over the world, from Palestine, Ivory Coast, Syria.”

Picture: Sam Nzima

I got in touch with Azania, who is an art lover and a fan of Chiurai’s work. She described the experience as “very emotional and cathartic”.

She says that she is proud to be part of the work of an artist who is shaping African modern art.

The broadcaster resigned from Metro FM last month (where, quite frankly, she was the best thing on air) and is rumoured to be joining new Gauteng talk station Power FM.

The Zimbabwean-born Chiurai lives and works in South Africa and has only recently turned to film production.

His first film Iyeza also deals with civilian conflict and the themes of private and public grief. It’s a version of the last supper with singer Zaki Ibrahim playing Jesus.

Iyeza by Kudzanai Chiurai

It was invited to the prestigious Sundance Film Festival and has subsequently been invited to several other countries, including the Sydney Film Festival later this year.

The films are an extension of Chiurai’s photography work, where he styled up African dictators as pop culture fashionistas.

Picture: Kudzanai Chiurai

He went on to demystify his treasonous leaders, staging elaborate scenes of them hanging out in their dirty laundry.

Picture: Kudzanai Chiurai

You can read more about his work over here when I went to visit him in studio. Mo better political poptarts please!

Tarting it up

Speaking of Metro FM, T-BO Touch hosted a sex-advice guru and the conversation turned to the perverse and unnatural act of masturbation. T-Bo Touch was summarily sent to the naughty corner and was later pulled off air.

I mean, he “wasn’t scheduled”.

Here’s one of the best things I’ve seen written in a while about Beyoncé and pop feminism.

A Japanese blog has created a new phobia! Socmephobia is, they say, the fear of social media.

“Some might describe it as car crash television,” is what the Guardian wrote about Dali Tambo having lunch with the Mugabes.

A 271m-long mural has been painted on the streets of Copenhagen

Picture: Vandalog

Google Explore has been steadily revamping. They’ve introduced a magnificent online museum called Cultural Institute.

Working with archives around the world, they’re hosting a range of exhibitions.

Apart from visual histories of Steve Biko and Nelson Mandela, they’ve arranged a whole lot of new galleries around the theme of apartheid. Included is this one, of apartheid signs.

This week Will and Jaden Smith were featured on The Graham Norton Show.

Honey, they rocked that joint with a souped-up version of the theme from the 1990s sitcom Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Sit back, tap your toe and twist your s-curl…


Dangerous living

Of the videos placed on the internet for our viewing pleasure this week, I recommend you check out Chinese activist artist Ai Weiwei in his debut metal track that makes fun of the authorities.

It’s ironically titled Dumbass.


And the BBC profiled Afrikaans rapper Jaak with some beautifully sweaty new performance visuals.

Okayafrica, meanwhile, introduced the new video from Umlilo, called Living Dangerously.

It’s pretty and it’s dark, but I wish it wasn’t so close to the style of Cape Town’s Petite Noir. Totally worth a watch, though.


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