A sustained presence by using a logic of the area: making and talking as research

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A point when I started having sustained conversations with people was when we moved into our shops. In my shop, I started painting a mural. The mural which I made in my shop, attempted to work through some of the experiences which I had had during the research process. I wanted to paint a mural about […]

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A social space in-between business practices

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Some of the most insightful moments I have had about Ethiopian and Eritrean activities in Jeppe Street have been from encounters and social events outside of Jeppe Street. At weddings and music festivals, suddenly, if still somewhat restrained, I was treated more openly. People were friendlier: They wanted me to dance and to drink. I […]

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Brand products, cultural branding and its policing

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Most of the product in the area is directly imported goods from China. There are global business such as McDonald’s. Then there are global clothing brands, and counterfeit brands. These products from a global economy are cheap, are desirable and they sell easily. They are good products to sell. One of challenge that the business […]

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Money, proxies, and participation

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Showing support for this project or not seemed to be a contentious issue in the area. The general response to this project was disregard and disinterest to our presence. The traders and business owners make money, not art projects. This need to earn a living, to make deals and conserve connections produced a strong opposition […]

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A community of proximities and spies

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What has struck me is that this community of Ethiopians and Eritreans, regardless of their past conflicts in their home countries, remain in proximity in South Africa, and in some ways, continue the to struggle through the memory of past conflicts. I think that this proximity is the result of the similarity of their cultures, […]

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Understanding stories as relational: the human and the non-human

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People’s anecdotes, greetings, excuses, lies, jokes, invitations and questions certainly did captivate much of my attention, but so did the stories and narratives visible in gestures, clothing, jewellery and cars, and also buildings, shops, stalls, restaurants and streets. Together, these different entities produce a complex network of human and non-human bodies called Jeppe Street. By noticing, […]

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The stories created by people and goods are real

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Jeppe Street may be approached as multiple layers of stories that intersect or remain imperceptible: they are told to people in confidence and kept from others. People create groups, create successes or betray each other. People look out for each other and people intimidate or manipulate each other. In any way, the actions in the […]

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Research interests and aims in the Jeppe Research Project

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The Jeppe Research Project was a project in which the Wits School of Arts (WSOA) participated alongside the WITS School of Architecture and the WITS School of Law within the Jeppe Street Ethiopian and Eritrean business sector. The intention of the Jeppe Research Project was project was twofold. First it was to make contact with […]

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MoVE, Participation, and Partnerships

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In the introduction of the Handbook of Arts-Based Research Patricia Leavy (2017) lists various properties of arts-based research. One of these properties is that arts-based research methods are open to participation. Arts-based research methods, and the projects they occur within, require participation. The focus on project participation, however, is usually the workshop participants. It is their stories […]

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Paintings and Sculpture

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For the last few years I have been working with an idea that while paintings can relay a subject matter through an image, they are also bodies that have an influence on the bodies around them. In this sense I have been influenced by Deleuze-Guattarian ideas around materiality and its relationship to bodies. Deleuze and […]

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