ja.magazine ja.magazine

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Ja.  A digital publication of written and visual work from across Africa. 2016 Arts Journalism Award winners for Innovation and Excellence.


Hello readers, writers, artists, and other brilliant ones we’ve come to know.
Weird time of year, right? Ja, for us too.
If you’ve followed Ja. mag since its early days, you’ll know we’ve come a pretty long way – from being a haphazard, beer-soaked idea that stumbled awkwardly, but excitedly into the digital realm, to a slightly less disorganised publication that’s published some truly pioneering written and visual work over the years.
The problem with change, though, is that it’s never very linear – or easy for that matter. So we’ve decided to take a hiatus. This is another way of saying we’re taking an open-ended smoke break in order to do some good thinking about where we’re headed as a publication. Also, we are very tired and a break at this time of year sounds just great to us.
We’ll still be sharing past work over the next while, and our workshops and events will still be running (as well as one big event that's currently in the works) but the publication itself, will be on vacation.
As always, thanks for reading 💚💚🌵 Ja. team

'The use of color represents the dejection towards all that I thought I was. It also represents meditation, intuition, sensitivity, depth, freedom, and imagination during the process of realising that all I have meditated on had been a lie.' Check out 'Broken Meditation' by @just.illustrat in #JaEd14. LINK IN BIO.

'and the benches still read net blankes
but my father is not afraid
yet my father still wants more
because when my father bought that Porsche,
the one with the red, I told you what kind
he called it an investment'

Read 'Foundations' by @arianamunsamy in #JaEd14. LINK IN BIO.
Illustration by @alii.maaz

'This body of work has been influenced by representing alternative / neo realities, sometimes with surreal undertones, in a more ‘Pop Art’ manner. A deviation, but continuing allegory of my previous works looking at an imagery reflective of Johannesburg’s apartheid history and the nuances of postcolonialism.' View POP(T)ART! by @joegturpin in #JaEd14. LINK IN BIO.

'They say time heals all wounds.
What they neglect to tell you is what happens when you get lost in time.' Read @nappyhairednegro's short story 'Limbo' in #JaEd14. LINK IN BIO. 📷 by @niamhhey .

'Do you hear the sound that lingers in the spaces between your breathes?' Read 'Let It Take You' by Muneerah Khan in #JaEd14. LINK IN BIO. 📷 by @lucinda.jolly

"All I know even now, really, is I had the time of my life — and I do not mean to romanticise this because it has been quite a time, good and not so good — throughout the entire process, especially because I am still learning to take, seriously, the world-building work of collaborative thinking and creating, and of feminist curating and archiving." Profile | Meet #JaEd14 curator, @_gathoni Wairimũ Mũrĩithi. 📷 by @kajavar

You can now place your order for the latest edition at R50. Old editions go for R40 (excl.post costs). Pop us an email with the edition number and how many copies you would like.


spectrum.za is a biannual e-zine for content specifically created by young, black LGBT+ artists and creatives in South Africa. spectrum.za hopes to display a wide and layered representation of life for young, black LGBT+ artists and creatives. This is a platform for navigating, interrogating and celebrating marginalised identities and their narratives in post-apartheid South Africa.

our generation grew up on the internet. you met the loyl in a chat group. please call "log on" was how you knew a multimix was about to be lit. phonerotica was what you used to figure out this sex thing. you picmix'd you and your crush. you can still hear that dial up code. b.o.p_naja.mp3 played every afternoon on your way back home. R10 airtime was worth more than it is today. you had fomo for the E250. technological advancement was a phone with bluetooth AND infrared. in 2015, partisan politics were overthrown by hashtags. racist trolls keep blowing up your mentions. twitter is a middle class luxury and facebook reminds you of a postmxit VGA cousin who hasn't caught on yet. you still wish there were more stock photos of black people on the net. only half of the country is considered an active internet user.
The theme for the first edition of spectrum.za is #URLbantwana - a series of work that explores the various intersections of race, gender, (dis)ability, class, sexuality and digitality in post-apartheid South Africa. Send us a story, any story. Send an image, illustration or even a selfie. Send a review, or a thinkpiece about being young and black in this country.

Submissions and queries can be sent to submitspectrumza@gmail.com

🎨 Ja. magazine Edition 14! 🎨
Edition 14 is the first of our editions to have a guest editor.
All of the content that you’ll find in these pages has been carefully curated by writer and editor, @_gathoni who you’ll read more about inside.
This edition features several poems, three very sharp, short stories, a different kind of recap of @zakifofest 2017 and a host of new visual work.

Front page collage by @alyssa27yo , wooden "Ja." sculptures by Phumlani Mkhize.
Read, share, and enjoy. LINK IN BIO.

#JaEd14 is in the making. Here's a Behind the Scenes peep of guest curator having her portrait made by @kajavar.

How cool is this? We got a snazzy little feature inside the June/July edition of @visi_mag. You'll see two of our covers made by @jesswedepohl's adaptation of @valentino_zondi's photograph and a petal and paper collage made by our editorial members. Go team!

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