David Mann

Settled is a short story concerned with the notions of value and extraction in the arts, and the unequal relationships of power this imposes. It was written as part of a collection of short stories that seeks, through the lens of fiction, to provide an alternative record and critique of the South African art world. The idea of the ‘borrow pit’ in the story is made in reference to South African theatre-maker Jemma Kahn’s 2018 play The Borrow Pit.

The short story was published in Volume 91 of the pan-African quarterly journal The Thinker, a special edition edited by Ashraf Jamal and Sven Christian.

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I took part in the September 2021 iteration of Bookdash, a South African social impact publisher of free books for very young children.

I joined in the capacity of editor this year (having worked as a writer for the 2018 iteration) and worked on the books The Best Nest and Brave Bora with two teams of brilliant writers, illustrators and designers.

The event took place virtually, a confluence of whatsapp groups and MS Teams rooms, from 9am-9pm. As always, it was a brilliant experience working with the Bookdash team to bring new children’s books into the world.

Both books are now out in the world. Read Brave Bora here and The Best Nest here.

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Rogue Words I is the first in a series of zines exploring the the nature of seemingly disparate or haphazard texts, and how words shift our ways of navigating the world. The zine is a collection of fragmented texts and aphorisms generated through a process of free-writing over the course of 2020. Texts are hand-stenciled on pages from London, a title in a series of publications about cities, first published by Nicholas Kaye Ltd in 1951.

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Rogue Word II is a zine that documents the process and production of a public text project that formed part of the 2021 Infecting the City festival. The project took the form of a series of posters that were posted in and around the Cape Town CBD, utilising pre-existing outdoor advertising structures, as well as signboards outside of performing arts spaces such as the Artscape and Baxter theatres.

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David Mann

David Mann

David Mann is a writer and editor who lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa.