In keeping with our gallery theme for this month — the Flow of Water — this month’s Salon will feature the recently published Short.Sharp.Story anthology, Fluid: The Freedom To Be.
South African writers were given this intriguing prompt: “In a FLUID state, nothing is fixed, matter can flow easily — between borders and boundaries, between cultures, between genders — everything is possible, porous, playful. In this world, increasingly conservative and restricted, we embrace the fluid nature of humanity. We grow, we change course, we discover more about who we are.” The best twenty stories in response were published in this collection. In reviewing it, author Jen Thorpe says: “I am always searching for writing that challenges me to try new techniques, forms and genres, and that takes on subjects I hadn’t considered. This collection does just that.”
You can see how beautifully all this fits with the art exhibited in our space right now, and we’re lucky that one of the editors, Karina Szczurek, will chat about the collection at our event. Contributors will read brief extracts from their stories. One of them, local artist Alex Latimer, will talk about the “fluidity” and overlap of being both a visual artist and illustrator, and an author. Vuyokazi Ngemntu will speak about the shades (literally) of identity for another perspective on what it means to be fluid, and Athambile Masola will read her poetry to us in both English and isiXhosa, to show us another form of fluidity — translation. And Anna Hug will read from her shocking and entertaining story featuring perfume — also a fluid.
About the authors
Alex Latimer is an artist and illustrator who lives in Fish Hoek. His picture books are published around the world, and his stories have won or been shortlisted for the Short Story Day Africa prize and the Commonwealth prize. He has published a novel and two apocalyptic sagas, South and North, as one half of Frank Owen (the other half being Diane Awerbuck, whose work also appears in Fluid).
Vuyokazi Ngemntu is a writer-performer who lives in Nyanga. She uses a wide range of performances of words (poetry, ritual, song and more) to look at trauma and inequality, and to inspire healing. Her short stories have won or been shortlisted for a number of prizes in Africa.
Athambile Masola is an academic, archival expert and poet who lives in Muizenberg. She lectures in Historical Studies at UCT, and her PhD and primary research focuses on black women’s life writing. Her debut poetry collection, Ilifa, was published in 2021.
Anna Hug, an author and editor who lives in Kommetjie, has had her stories published in South African literary journals, and has been longlisted for the Myslexia fiction prize.
Date and time: TUESDAY (note: not our usual Monday!) 14 November, 5.30 for 6pm, until 7pm. Entrance is free, and all are welcome.
Please join us for small snacks and a glass of wine or juice. You can check the Salon Hecate tab for notes on accessibility.