Zoey Black is a transgender woman of colour living in Cape Town. She is trans rights activist, actress, freelance writer and digital content creator. She is employed with Gender Dynamix, a non-profit organisation with a focus on championing human rights for trans and gender diverse persons and communities in Southern Africa. Zoey is the organisation’s Legal and Education Advocacy Officer and leads the legal, policy and educational reform initiatives and projects. In her personal capacity, Zoey publicly advocates for trans rights and visibility, and broadens the scope of trans representation and narratives through her social media and online platforms, including her recently launched Youtube channel. Her channel acts as a resource in providing accessible information on trans specific issues, including accessing hormone replacement therapy, and changing one’s name and gender marker at the Department of Home Affairs. Working in tandem with her YouTube channel, Zoey runs a blog, which focuses on sharing her personal experiences and narrative as a transgender woman, including issues around discrimination and violence, mental health and wellness, and acceptance and tolerance. In addition, Zoey is studying toward a Bachelor of Laws, with intensions to enhance her capacity to further assist vulnerable persons and communities in accessing their rights, as well as contributing to the development of policy and legislation which will enhance, promote and protect the rights of marginalised members of society.
Nicola Hanekom has been a freelance actress, director and writer for the past twenty years. Her theatre work as writer/director includes a series of site-specific productions; Betésda, Lot, Babbel and Land van Skedels. As a writer and performer, Nicola created Trippie, and her self-penned one-woman show Hol/Running on Empty. These together with her latest play In glas have garnered twelve Kanna awards, eleven Fiësta awards, two ATKV writing awards and one Aartvark award. Nicola was also awarded the Eugène Marais Prize for her collection of plays Die pad byster. She has written and directed two short films, Trippie and Unspoken. Her short, Trippie won two Silwerskermfees awards. Cut-Out Girls is her first feature film and arrives in local cinemas on November 22nd.
Puleng Lange-Stewart is a writer, playwright, filmmaker, director, designer and illustrator. In 2016, she was one of three shortlisted writers in the national PEN student writing competition. Her writing has appeared in the 2017 African Literature curriculum at UCT. Her first independent short film, written and directed with Jannous Aukema, Until the Silence Comes, was selected for the 2017 Cape Town International Film Festival and was nominated for an audience award at the Shnit International Short Film Festival. Her primary focus is in interdisciplinary performance and multimedia integration. As a queer, feminist, artist and mother of colour, she hopes to find ways to explore and question the practices and hierarchies that continue to erode human dignity and self-determinacy for so many within the context of South Africa and Africa as a whole. Her work is deeply embedded in a decolonial framework which hopes to elevate and recentre African bodies and voices as a response to its violent historical negation. During the 2018 Open Book Festival, Puleng will appear on a panel entitled Moving Pictures and Borders. Continue reading
For 13 years, actress and producer Diaan Lawrenson charmed South African audiences by starring on 7de Laan. Since leaving the series, she has gone on to star in critically acclaimed films such as Raaiselkind, Sink and her latest film Susters which is now playing in select theatres. An accomplished theatre actress, she is also the co-founder of Jester Productions, a multimedia production company that she founded alongside her husband, and fellow actor, Jody Abrahams, which focuses on facilitating, developing and producing original South African concepts. Continue reading
Julia Anastasopoulos is an artist, illustrator, designer and actress. In 2014, she launched her “bite-sized do-it-yourself” web series, Suzelle DIY, which instantly took South Africa by storm. During the course of her career, Julia’s work has spanned several artistic mediums including a successful career as a stage actress, theatrical set and costume designer and illustrator. Her work has been exhibited locally and abroad and has included a series of large illustrated print murals for the City of Cape Town Micity Bus stations. She is a twice-published author and is also the creative director of Sketchbook Studios, which she co-founded with her husband Ari Kruger. But it’s Julia’s latest project, Tali’s Wedding Diary, that has everyone buzzing. We sat down with her at Sketchbook Studios to chat all about creating these iconic characters.
Actress and artist, Jemma Kahn returns to the Alexander Bar with In Bocca al lupo, her latest Kamishibai endeavor. Following the breakout success that was Epicene Butcher and We Didn’t Come To Hell For The Croissants, Jemma has become a pioneer of not only the Kamishibai style in South Africa but for boldly creating her own boundary-pushing work. Continue reading
Bonnie Rodini is a casting director, writer, director and producer working in the film and television industry. Best known for her feature film, The Story of an African Farm, Bonnie began her career as a ballet dancer before moving into the world of acting and eventually the world of filmmaking. Continue reading
Following a limited release last year, Tess, the award-winning film based on the novel Whiplash by Tracey Farren, releases across South Africa tomorrow. Director Meg Rickards has assembled an entirely South African crew and cast, lead by Christia Visser to tell the haunting story of Tess, a 20-year-old sex worker whose life is turned upside down when she discovers that she’s pregnant. We sat down with Meg and Christia to discuss their work on this groundbreaking film.
Jabu Nadia Newman is a filmmaker and photographer. Her latest project, The Foxy Five has taken South Africa by storm. The Foxy Five tells the story of a group of womxn in Cape Town as they navigate their multi-faceted lives all while figuring out their own definition of feminism while fighting against the patriarchy. Jabu’s work is uniquely unapologetic and current, giving a voice to her generation and their complexities.
Lisa Chait is a storyteller. Throughout the years her platforms may have changed, from teaching to radio and now founding Life Stories as well as hosting and producing SABC’s I Am Woman-Leap of Faith series, but her intention has always been the same, to share honest and compelling human stories.