creative community is unparalleled. Subsequent issues of iJusi have made invaluable contributions to ongoing discourses surrounding representation and identity in South Africa, specifically within the context of Graphic Design, Illustration, Typography, Writing, Photography and Publication. IJusi is independently published by Walker in a small print run, roughly twice yearly from his Durban based graphic design studio, now called Mister Walker. The magazine is theme-based, with previous issues focusing on anything from death, pornography, religion, and race, to typography, photography and storytelling. Collected and viewed together, all thirty-odd issues of iJusi are a concise visual record of South African society since independence, incorporating all the subtleties of transformation, negotiation, and transition. IJusi is a reminder that design can have a conscience, and that creativity is the bonding agent for any society.Nearly two decades after the first issue was published, and nearing thirty published issues,
Ijusi has become an historic visual record of South African creative output, as well as an insurgent of afro-centric design. IJusi is often satirical, readily utilizing parody, but the publication has never been a negative or even critical commentary on South Africa. Rather, iJusi is a path of discovery, helping to establish the wealth of talent, rich traditions, hope and strong sense of heritage within South Africa, with its diverse cultural backgrounds, each with their own contribution to make, exposing a creative poignancy and visual vocabulary that is unrivaled anywhere else. Collaboration is a key term, and iJusi has often cross-pollinated with other influential, like-minded outfits, such as BitterKomix, Disturbance, Rooke Gallery and Dutchmann. Despite having a print-run in the low hundreds, iJusi has developed towards near-cult status, largely due to its rarity and the fact that it has never been commercially for sale. IJusi has always been free, handedout to anybody who sees virtue in its perspective. The fact that
iJusi is Africa’s only experimental design magazine is also a factor in its popularity amongst collectors. Recent additions to the iJusi brand are the portfolios, which were implemented in order to keep the magazine published. In collaboration with the Rooke & van Wyk gallery these portfolios are curated spaces, usually sourcing work from artists who have submitted to iJusi magazine. Such is the reach of iJusi that the portfolios feature in prominent collections, including of the world’s foremost art museums. Despite having existed on a wing and a prayer for so many years, iJusi is still in print, thanks to the generosity of various participants and collaborators, from printers and suppliers who have offered their talents and services gratis over the years to artists and designers showcasing their work. Reaching the end of its second decade, iJusi magazine, funded by sales of the iJusi portfolios, has turned into a canonical body of work, testaments to a developing
country effectively dealing with various socio-economic stratifications and cultural dichotomies. More so, iJusi is a cultural institution, thanks to the combined efforts of South African artists and designers that are actively taking part in this ongoing Cultural Revolution. IJusi portfolio #3 is the culmination of the iJusi canon thus far. Curated by world reknowned photographer Pieter Hugo, this third portfolio contains ten of South Africa’s most prolific photographers, including: Roger Ballen, Jabulani Patrick Dhlamini, David Goldblatt, Pieter Hugo, Dean Hutton, Sabelo Mlangeni, Zanele Muholi, Daniel Naudé, Jo Ractlffe, and Mikael Subotsky. The portfolio deconstructs notions of cultural otherness, outsider stereotyping, and political entropy. With subtle conceptual undertones Hugo’s curatorial slight-of-hand makes for an invaluable contribution to a twenty-year long tradition. by Shane de Lange. 1
A catalogue detailing the works and artists included in the third iJusi portfolio, curated by Pieter Hugo.