Fruits of freedom

Nations that liberate themselves from malign political regimes often experience an outpouring of creative expression afterwards. Berlin’s edgy, innovative arts scene exploded after the wall came down and South Africa’s liberation from apartheid in 1994 also resulted in an enthusiastic blossoming of creativity that continues to flourish today.

One of the invigorated nation’s most exciting outputs is multicultural design magazine I-Jusi, whose name roughly translates as ’the juice’ in Zulu. Graphic designer Garth Walker founded I-Jusi in the same year that apartheid died, and he has published 25 issues of the magazine.

Over the years, I-Jusi has celebrated telephone-wire basketry, Aids murals, Hindu body decoration and Indian bus graphics, as well as giving South Africa’s designers an outlet for their feelings about belonging to a new democracy. One issue – subtitled ’for the sins of our fathers’ – offered white South African designers a forum to express their views on apartheid through the medium of illustration.

I-Jusi has found its way on to coffee tables around the world, but is likely to attract an even broader fan base this month when it stars in its own pop-up exhibition.

The show marks the launch of a limited-edition collection of ten images cherry-picked from the magazine’s 16-year-long history.

The images, by designers including David Goldblatt, Conrad Botes, Anton Kannemeyer, Garth Walker, Brode Vosloo and Wilhelm Kruger, will feature in the show and the collectibe box set, I-Jusi Portfolio No. 1.

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