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Editor’s Letter · 4 Small Print, Credits & Errata · 6 Nerine Dorman on Writing · Characters · 8 Photography Seagram Pearce · Thoroughbred Photography · 12 Ed Franc Loverock Babb · 14 Derek Antonio Serra · Controversial Serra · 20 Jacques de Vos · Underwater Eye · 22 Brad Elliot · 26 Fashion Nucleus Clothing · 32 Art & Film Daya Heller · Art, Heart & Mind · 42 Toyah Moon · Sneaking into galleries · 48 Ronnie Blecher & Thomas Dorman · 54 Events Rocking The Daisies Diary · 60 Beautiful Hair, La Coupe Show · 68 The Necromantic Circus comes to town · 70 Underworld · 76 Deadly Sins · 80 Reburn DVD launch · 82

Body Modification 84 · Piercing Diaries · Labret Music 90 · The Embers of Coal 96 · Joshua Grierson Opinion 102 · Who Defanged the Children of the Night? Galleries 104 · That's so Cape Town 114 · Gallery


Photographer · Mark Freesbrough MUA · Samantha Kaye Dress · Nucleus Clothing Model · Robyn Hobson Read more on page 32.

As you may have noticed, this has been rather a busy time for us. We are late, and for that I do apologise. However, this follows our ideal of "Better late and produce quality, than produce shit on time". Since our first issue, we have had a few small changes from behind the scenes, but we have also grown in strength. That is thanks to you, our readers. I know this is lame and has been said a million times before by anybody and everybody under the sun, but without you, we would be nothing. Issue 2 of Exhibit holds a feast of photographers; we have decided to go as diverse as we possibly could. Coal brings us some warm sounds, while Josh relaxes our minds with some amazing guitar playing. Our new section, "That's So Cape Town", has provided us with some interesting showcases. Our cover shoot really made me smile; it started out as a competition for our readers, offering the winners a chance to collaborate with Nucleus. I cannot begin to explain how much fun I had on that shoot (I was roped in as an assistant). Alright, enough from me, start turning pages. Reverend Frank Moody Director of Exhibit.

Seagram Pierce by Simon Tamblyn

Ed Franc Loverock Babb by Ross Taylor

Jacques de Vos by Mandy Robinson

Nucleus by Ross Taylor

loves getting email: Director · Frank Moody Creative Director · Rudolf Vavruch Sub-Editors Annelie Kirstein · Marissa Rutherford

Nicola Kunz Sue Wong Graphic Designer Ross Taylor · Journalist in Chief Dominique Anderson · Online Marketing Lauren Gerber · Webmaster Emilie Rohlandt ·

Exhibit would like to thank the graphic designers who designed the following articles. Ross Taylor is also responsible for the intro pages (Photography, Fashion, etc.). All other layout by Rudolf Vavruch.

Daya Heller by Eugene Hayman

Toyah Moon by David Orridge

Coal by Janet Botes

Josh Grierson by Torgny Hylen.

Writers Nerine Dorman Janet Botes Skye MacInnes

featured in this magazine. This PDF file is a collection of independent artists, authors and creators and each independently own the right to their work and take responsibility for allowing Exhibit to publish their works.

No animals were harmed in the making of this magazine, but a model did fall off a horse.


All featured articles are copyright to their respected authors. Images, text and multimedia belong to their authors and not to Exhibit. Exhibit takes no responsibility for the articles


Errata from Issue 1 Simon from The Sleepers’ surname is actually Tamblyn. Sorry about that.

Words Nerine Dorman · Photo Mark Finch SO, YOU HAVE GOT THIS IDEA FOR A STORY, right? Well, many stories start when you have an idea for a character. When you start writing, half the fun is coming up with the kind of character who will take the leading role in your tale. Before you start writing, however, you need to put some thought into your character. Think of some of the memorable character that is, more often than not, characters from the books and movies you have themselves, horribly idealised as a beautiful, enjoyed. Frodo, a mere hobbit, goes up against talented, yet tortured character who is just the dark lord Sauron and, although he is small absolutely perfect in every way inserted into the and weak, he manages to destroy an evil empire. story. Mary Sues waltz through the storyline and Harry Potter, likewise, brings down Lord no conflict situation is too difficult to overcome. Voldemort despite overwhelming odds, by So, if you are going to write about rallying his friends. Most of JK Rowling's success someone with some sort of Speshul™ powers, for stemmed from the fact that she created a range God's sake give them some flaws to balance of characters with characteristics that appealed them out. Otherwise, what is the point of to a broad range of readers. reading? If you look at your standard Hero's There is a pattern here — a hero or an Journey a la Joseph Campbell, who was a big antihero. What are your character's heroic influence on the likes of George Lucas, you will qualities? What makes people like your see that our hero, who can be a bit of a brat, has character, or dislike them, for that matter? How to go through a whole bunch of trials and does your character react in times of crisis? Give tribulations before he can say, “I won!” your character strengths but then, most Make him a brat, if you must, but then let importantly, start looking at your character's him fail a few times in his quest until he can weak points. learn to master his “bratness”. Or, perhaps your Here I will stop the boat by telling you heroine is timid? Put her in heart-stopping about Mary Sues and their male equivalents, the predicaments where she needs to work through Marty Stus. A word from an editor: avoid these the issue and take charge. at all costs. This is something most commonly Part of the fun of reading is seeing how a seen in the kind of wishful-thinking writing you character can succeed and grow, despite their will find in fanfiction, where authors create a problems. A good character is someone you may

start out disliking but gain a grudging respect for as the story progresses, like Professor Snape from JK Rowling's Harry Potter series. When writing your character, it is a very good idea to know them as a person. By this I do not mean just their physical attributes, like blond hair and blue eyes. What shaped them while they were growing up? What are their likes? What are their dislikes? What are their goals? What motivates them? What events that have taken place in their past have shaped them? Before you start writing, you need to perceive them as a real thinking, breathing person. You do  not need to like them but you need to know them. Often, when you have answered these questions, it may even result in you finding the  bones of a novel within the history of your character. A useful exercise that I used with my writers’ group not so long ago, was centred on character creation, which I totally recommend if you are considering taking up the pen: h-novel-in-hour-exercise.html Before you start writing, breathe life into your character. They must not be wholly good or wholly evil. Often the best conflict arises from two characters whose goals are at cross purpose. Neither would perceive themselves as evil yet they may just perceive the other as “bad” because they are in disagreement. Take time to fill in the gaps. See yourself in these characters’ shoes and, most importantly, give each character a voice that is uniquely their own.

Photos by Derek Antonio Serra Derek Antonio Serra operates from the beautiful Cape Town. With over 20 years of experience as a photographer, he has been published in numerous local publications, including Cosmopolitan, Fair Lady and Femina, as well as several international publications. In his early years he shot mainly editorial fashion for the major newspapers in South Africa. He then moved onto fashion advertising, landing the major Ronald Sassoon denim label, which resulted in a massive advertising campaign in all the top fashion magazines in South Africa. Always controversial, Serra also supplied top international magazines with sizzling pictorials of

local and foreign models, traveling extensively to exotic locations for these shoots. This was in the 1990s, before the advent of the internet impacted on magazine sales and curtailed lavish budgets. He became known as the "Body Man" for his ability to make virtually every woman he photographed, look stunning. In 1991 Serra founded Central Castings, South Africa's oldest casting agency, and in 1999 he added documentary producing and directing to his area of expertise. He has 11 documentaries under his belt, including Cape of Rape, Cultureclash and White Working Class, and in more recent years, he has begun focusing on personal photography projects. His subjects are still predominantly women, but not always professional models. Serra's manta is "Every woman is beautiful". He shoots in small towns and big cities where he uses ordinary girls that  he meets during his visits, to prove that he  can  photograph any woman and make her look beautiful. Recent projects include nudesouthafrica, Altgirl, NudeScapes and Fashionata.

I studied Photography from 2000 to 2003 and blah blah blah‌Actually, I wish I never wasted my student loan money on studying photography; instead, I should have shadowed a photographer for a year or so. I believe that I learned more from shadowing photographers during and after my studies, than actually studying Photography for three years. Sure, there was the theory of photography like aperture, shutter speed and depth of field, but I only learned depth of field from photographers in practice and then understood the concept of it. So, it has been nine years and I have been on a journey of pushing my passion and making a success of it. I have been shooting for Getty/Gallo images for the past three years and my next

goal is to do features for National Geographic. I would say that I have come a long way in my photography over the past few years. I have done small jobs like weddings, Bodyboarding Mag, websites, catalogues, but nothing like Wow!‌One thing is for sure, I have never stopped pursuing my passion and making a success of it.

What was your first impression of each other? Thomas: We met after the VNV Nation gig and to tell you the truth, my first impression of him was very distorted and a bit blurry, to say the least. I was rather inebriated. Tania introduced us, she is one of the models I have been working with — and a good friend — and his girlfriend. I had read online that he was working on a horror movie. By the way, I am a big fan of horror movies, especially old movies. He was working on an old 20s/30s-style vampire movie called On the Verge of Blood with Tania as the leading female role — really impressive. The first impression you get is that he has a sharp sense of humour and a sharp tongue — it is like a fucking chainsaw or something. So anyway, he started helping me on various photo-shoots with Tania and allowed me to use his house as a location more than a few times. Actually, I think I have shot most of that house. It is a photographic heaven, full of vintage farm implements and old paintings. We discussed doing a movie together when we discovered we were both into the same kind of movies. It became obvious that it would be beneficial for both of us to collaborate. Oh, yeah...and you will soon discover that he is extremely creative and

capable in all the various disciplines of making a movie, from editing, directing and even developing the score. Ronnie: I heard about Thomas and especially his work via a mutual friend who models for his shoots, so I was immediately interested to see his work and meet him. We share many common interests and are passionate about the same things, especially the arts. So, it was destined for us to meet and let our creativeness collide. My first memory of him was definitely his work ethic and enormous drive to deliver only the best. It is like his drug. He is indeed the mad Dr-Benway: brilliant, mad and meticulous. What have been some of the most amusing reactions to your combined work? Thomas: Well, I think the best was someone had a serious nightmare after watching KiTTY KiLL. She dreamt there was a spiral of cats against a wall and the spiral was spinning inward and the cats were being smeared like wet paint across the wall. Not exactly representative of the movie, but at least it is surreal enough. By the way, I love cats, so I do not condone that kind of dreaming. Now if only we can get everyone to have nightmares, would that not just be peachy keen? Ronnie: Blank and confused stares into the end credits of KiTTY KiLL. People were very intrigued by the mixture of Thomas's animation vs. the claustrophobic surrealism. Sum each other up in three words. Thomas: Multitalented workaholic. Oh, that is just two words. I guess "main" is the last word. Ronnie: He is mad. Tell me about your current project. Thomas: We are working on the preproduction on what seems to be a movie of note. We wrote about four different scripts since KiTTY KiLL. They were either not tight enough or just too fucking crazy. So, eventually, we were able to quiet the voices in our collective consciousness enough to come up with a logical,

tight and scary little script that should turn out to be quite an interesting short horror movie. Ronnie: After many renditions of an initial idea we had, we came up with a wonderful script that we are scheduled to shoot in September. I must say that this will be the most ambitious film project that I have done, purely because of all the aspects and logistics involved. Luckily, we have a wonderful team of people onboard to help us realise this vision. It is a classic tale of betrayal and revenge. When people watch your films, what experience do you want them to walk away with? Thomas: I am not sure about future movies. I doubt we will make the same kind movie the next time, so obviously we will want a different reaction. But with this one I am hoping our sleepless nights creating it will produce sleepless nights for viewers. It should also produce the same effect as an unexpected sharp jab with a small pen knife. It is a short horror movie, after all. I am also hoping it will be visually beautiful to watch. We have some great people helping us to make this happen, so this movie should be a shockingly beautiful experience, like being bitten by beautiful poisonous snake. I see this movie as a hors d'oeuvre for the things to come. Ronnie: There are many ways the audience can react to our creativeness, but I hope that they will be able to take away something warm and positive from the cold celluloid world that we confronted them with.

Words & Photos by Dominique Anderson Friday 9 October 2009 Day one of festival We wake at the crack of dawn, even before the rooster down the road from my house starts to crow. We’re starting so early because this year RTD has adopted park and camp policies inspired by international festivals. You park you car and pitch your tent in a separate areas. We want to get my car as close to the tent as possible, so that we can leave our valuables in the car and keep only the sleeping things in the tent. We travel for an hour and a bit to the Kloof wine estate, same venue as last year. Finding the way easily thanks to all the RTD signs. Eager beavers that Exhibit are, we arrive at the media entrance as the gates open. They were quick and professional in arranging our

bands and the essentials that we needed. Setting up the tent was easy, despite the wind that managed to take a few tent owners on a kite ride. We chilled, drank and waited for the bands to start at five. Oh, but it doesn’t all end happily ever after…WHAM bring on the hay fever. Snot, itchy eyes and sneezes this was going to be one hell of a weekend, pun intended. We drudged to the medic tent so they could dose me up with hayfever meds and then made our way to the band stage, which is WAY bigger and than I remembered from last year. We rocked the night away to some of the best bands that night, Checked Zebra, Goldfish, and aKing. This made us amped for more music the next night, but the night did not end there. We ran along to the electro tent and partied it up into the hours of the night, with myself going to creep into bed and sleep off the hayfever.

Saturday 10 October 2009 Day two of festival I am surprised to wake up to no noise, just the chirping of birdies and the snoring of our neighbour. We emerge to tents blown into trees and sleepy women doing the walk of shame with pants and shoes in hands. Trudge down to the festival food court to buy some over-priced coffee, and hand it to our zombie friend in the tent next to us. The morning bands start off, the hung over people lurch out of their makeshift sleeping quarters to find the nearest shower. But the showers have been taken from us! Those brave enough go and swim in the dam to wash last night’s dirt off. Then its back to the tent to wait for the evening bands. We didn’t attend all the bands that day, my hayfever preventing me from seeing and the other parties trying to recover from their hang overs. We decided to cook lunch

and chill in our tents, watching the crazy hippie neighbours with their pop up tents. Night time activities kick off at five, with crowds of people waiting for the big name bands, such as Just Jinger, Prime Circle, Gang of Instrumentals and Freshly Ground. The crowd was not let down, with Just Jinger recording live feeds for their albums, and Freshly Ground providing grooves that made the last night of RTD awesome to say the least. Leaving the dust and broken hay bales (that got me sneezing so hard I had to go sleep it off), my friends decided to jam the night away in the electro-tent. I was informed that there was a minor drama when an over-eager person bombed the tent with a smoke grenade. That didn’t prevent the party from continuing as evidenced by the a souvenior of vomit left at our doorstep by a mysterious midnight reveller.

Sunday 11 October 2009 Last day of festival Sunday morning breaks and we quickly stash our belonging‘s in the car so that we had no need to worry about the tent crasher’s that we had heard stories about from the night before. A girl told me that when she and her friends returned to their tent they found a man had broken in (broken the zip to be exact) taken his pants off and promptly fell asleep in his boxer shorts. They managed to chase him away, pants and all. It was a very chill day. The Little Kings opened the morning bands, and Dan Palansky showed Cape Town how Jo-burgers do it best. Our tent site was closest to the stage so we were treated with the lovely melody while packing

our rubbish into the provided bags for recycling and garbage. RTD has an eco-friendly approach to their festival, with bio-degradable packaging and recycled oil for generators that power the event. They have learnt a lot from the past events and caterer for any disasters that were thrown their way this year, by the weather and drunken festival attendees. They were very considerate of the farm and the environment. This year’s festival was a great success and I am looking forward to the festival in years to come. If Europe can have festivals where people travel from all over the world to attend, I’m sure South Africa can handle the pressure. We might just have to sort out that tent crasher though; they seem to enjoy not bringing their own things to the festival.

Advice for festival goers

Words & Photos by Dominique Anderson An innovative hair and fashion show was held on 25 July 2009 by La Coupe Salon, owned by Melissa Pretorius. The show was held in the Eastlake Island Centre, featuring the likes of Mystic Rose, Eden Wear and Ska Clothing. Coordinated to have a specific storyline, the evening started off with daywear and Melissa and Lawrence cutting hair live on stage while explaining to the audience what they were doing. They also got the audience to shout out the keyword "models" so that we could see some of the other hair designs and clothing that was on display.

The show swiftly moved on to eveningwear, which had the talented stylist pulling off intricate hairstyles in minutes. Later, the models paraded their styles down the runway. During the last bit of the show, we were in for a treat, avant-garde. Amazing hairstyles were put together in front of the audience's eyes; it was crazy to see how fast La Coupe added extensions, cut and styled hair in front of us. The hairstyles that resulted from this were amazing, the models walked down the catwalk to the theme of earth, wind and fire, freeing of slaves. Overall, La Coupe's show was successful with a full capacity turn out. La Coupe will go far with Melissa's alternative styles and Lawerance's classy styles.

Words Dominique Anderson · Photos Frank Moody

The Necromantic Circus is a touring, burlesque, fashion and pure entertainment show by Star from Black Orchid Burlesque and Fox from Blood Splatter Productions. I was lucky enough to attend their first show at Mercury on 7 August 2009, not knowing what a massive surprise I was in for. The evening started off with chilled drinks and people parading around with their makeup on while in costumes hidden for the big reveal. I was lucky enough to talk to Star from BOB; she excitedly told me that she wanted people to be awestruck and amazed at what the production had to offer. On my question about the inspiration behind the production, she explained that she and Fox had wanted to hold an event like this for a long time, but just did not have a venue. So, when Mercury agreed to hold the event at their venue, it was all go. When the show started, we had our ringleader; the MCs for the evening – dressed to kill – came onto the stage to get the production and the audience going. The scene was opened with jokers crawling out from the back of the stage, they brought on two screaming girls to play with, covered in blood and chained to the stage, begging the audience for help. All were very chilling as the makeup and outfits were stunning and the girls seemed really in distress; you felt ashamed for not helping them to get away from the creatures pawing at them. With that said, the next lot of creatures crawled onto the stage, the kittens with their master. The outfits done by Mark and Helna of Wolf Clothing were stunning and slightly creepy; it made

the production seem like real circus. Next up were the prancing ponies, lead by a rather fine-looking cowgirl, followed by a dancing a doll brought onto stage by the creepy clowns. We were in for more of a treat as the Ring Master sent us off to "get drunk" during the show's interval. During the interval, a woman was suspended by meat hooks pierced through the flesh of her back, displaying a "hooker" sign, by the "Ripper". It was surreal seeing a suspension act so close up. Now back to the show and being treated to circus freaks that included a bearded lady, a savage beast who was held on a leash by his nipple rings, a snake girl, a sheman, demons and an angel. All sorts of things you would never want to meet in a dark ally. We were treated to a lip synch from the angel, a drag queen. There were so many well-choreographed dances and extreme things that I could write about this event for ages and still would not be able to describe how much this show rocked my socks off. It was an insane production. I have to mention one of my favourite parts in the show: military girls in great costumes. My secondfavourite part was the introduction to the show, where Star did an old-school burlesque dance with a feather fan. I had never seen anything like it and was impressed by the way she managed to remove her bra without showing the crowd an inch of breast.

Photographs: Heather Erbacam It’s not every day that Claremont plays host to goths. The Underworld Party at Wadda featured some amazing music from DJ's such as legend Stacïï Stéf'n Minstrel. Even the lovely ladies from Black Orchid Burlesque Beasties were there to dazzle. Thanks to Aquarius Events for organising an event to remember.

It was with great anticipation that a few friends and I waited for the reopening of Gotham. The doors were only set to open at twelve o’clock, so we spent time upstairs at Roar, where we watched The Sleepers and Coal while drinking shots and having fun and waited for our Gotham V.I.P. cards. When the doors finally opened, I noticed that the place was looking much better than I remembered. I greeted people everywhere, sat down on the comfortable new seating and had a great time; the music was pumping and the vibe excellent. Some people dressed up and made a huge effort for the party. I do not know how some people do it; they found new masks and clothing, custom made for the event. It was fascinating. It was a beautiful dark night filled with drinking, dancing, chatting and living up in the dark at Gotham. Everybody was friendly, lively and down to earth. The party was great and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Stefan and Antonio for making us all feel so at home at Gotham. In conclusion, I would like to leave you with one of my favourite quotes that illustrates my total respect for Gotham:

Words Lauren Hayley · Photos Frank Moody

Words Lauren Hayley 路 Photos Esti Strydom From the moment I saw Reburn live I was a fan. Reburn formed in 2008 and the 5 piece indie rock band are taking the Cape Town music scene by storm. Their catchy music and amazing stage presence keeps audiences entertained. The lead singer, "Scotty" Moore, has a talent for interacting with the audience, not to mention a phenomenal voice. At their DVD launch, I noticed that Reburn's fan base comprises of an odd mix of jocks, old people, youngish alternative people, a few foreigners and even a guy in a kilt. I also spotted a few local bands showing their support. Reburn is a fun, easy to listen to and highly entertaining band, with a very loyal following, and it is clear that they are humble and greatly appreciate the support given by their fans. Many of their songs playfully poke fun at our society, especially the song "Cracker." The DVD launch, held at Mercury on the 8th of August was an over all successful event. I had to laugh at the end of the gig when Scotty informed the crowd that they'd had to Bootleg their own DVD because their stock wasn't ready by the launch date, he called it the "Reburn Special Edition DVD." Reburn have played with The Ataris on tour from the US and have headlined with bands like Taxi Violence, Shy Guevaras, Evolver, The Plastics, The Ragdolls, One Day Remains, ETC Crew and many more at almost all of Cape Town's top venues.

Piercing Diaries

Photos Shekynah (Flickr) As you may recall from my last article, the moment I saw a girl at school with a shiny lip ring, bam, my addiction was born. What I didn’t tell you was that I sent my boyfriend into the line of “needles” first. I was too scared; he was the big, strong man – he could handle it. So we went down to piercing artist Patrick Rutter, who runs his own studio out of Iron Warrior ll Tattoo in Wynberg. We arrived with pale faces and, minutes later, my man had a shiny new lip ring. It healed, looked awesome, and I was the next in line… I got my 16-year-old hands on some cash, asked my mother for a lift, didn’t tell her where I was going and walked into Patrick’s piercing place. I waited in the sterile parlour, shaking. This was my first piercing and I was doing something I feared: having a needle shoved through the fleshy bit of my face. Patrick asked if I’d eaten; I hadn’t, and was briskly escorted out the door to grab a sandwich. Then he gave me the low-down. He explained where the ring could be placed to avoid blood, and made a mark on my lip in the position I wanted it. I decided on the left. I was forbidden from contact with my boyfriend (cough) and I couldn’t drink for two weeks! In addition, I’d have to rinse my mouth out with salt water every time I had a cigarette – and I was only allowed three a day! All I wanted at that moment was a smoke.

The first chilly instrument of torture was the clamp, holding my lip in place so I didn’t flinch and pull the needle away, which, honestly, was all I wanted to do. With the clamp placed and the mark made, it was time to close my eyes and wait for the pain. Suddenly I felt a stinging sensation. My lip on fire. Success! I opened my eyes – too soon – to see the needle still shoved in my face. If Patrick wasn’t so quick, I’d have passed out right there. Then came the fun part: with Angelina Jolie lips, I couldn’t swallow anything. I had to suck ice to numb the pain. I’ll admit I was a huge baby, crying from the ache, so much so that I considered ripping the ring out. But as the days went on, the pain ceased, the swelling subsided and I could change the ring with ease. Finally, I was happy. The story’s not over. A few years and piercings later, I was forced to take a gap year, get a job and remove the body art. But when the student years began, I could start piercing again – praise the heavens! Can you guess which piercing I chose? Yes, that’s right: my good old lip ring. Having a piercing re-opened isn’t fun: the skin is harder – it’s formed a scar that needs to be punctured – and this time I wanted to get a snake bite (two holes in the lower lip, otherwise known as labret piercings). Now, on the first lip ring I had this “covering” of skin over the back of the

Piercing Diaries · Labret cont.

piercing. Sitting in the chair, I mentioned this to Patrick. “Oh,” he said, “no problem. I’ll just cut it off.” Wait. Stop. What did he say? Yup, with a nice shiny, sharp scalpel. Fuck. The “extra” skin was numbed, then came the cutting. The blood flowed. Phew! Surely I needed to come back the next day for Step Two? Nope. The clamp was placed on my lip and, before I  could object, the needle was shoved through my flesh and my mouth was swollen once again. What the hell just happened? Patrick explained that the fleshy bit he’d cut off and shoved under my nose… shiver… was called a keloid, a result of the rejection or irritation of the skin surrounding the piercing. Basically, I hadn’t listened to him, and went about drinking, smoking and carrying on as I pleased. It didn’t help that I was a fiddler, which is not recommended. Speaking of recommendations: go for a labret bar rather than a ring, as the ring is easier to “play” with, which affects the healing time. Ultimately, I love my lip rings. I can picture myself as an old granny with them still in place. Who knows, maybe I’ll still be writing for Exhibit.

Words By Nerine Dorman 路 Photo by Gilderic (Flickr) As a storyteller, vampires have always been engaging subject matter to watch, write or read. Why, though? When I was little, I watched Christopher Lee's interpretation of Dracula on telly. I remember being scared absolutely s***less. Here was this big, looming man with a funny East European accent who got into your room at night while you were sleeping to drink your blood. Yet, mingled with this fear, was something else, a dark romance perhaps. Dracula struck me as a particularly tragic figure. Later, when fascination replaced my fear, I saw him as a man damned to eternal loneliness. Fast forward a few years to Gary Oldman as Dracula. There is no doubt. Gary Oldman made Dracula sexy with a darker element of desire. Yes, Dracula was still a bloodsucker but damn, he was hot. He still possessed a beastly side, though, perhaps more so than earlier interpretations. I would not easily forget that dreadful bat thing he turns into. Vampires were still a thing to be feared, yes, but not for long. Anne Rice changed all that with her terminally egocentric vampire Lestat and his pal Louis. Vampires went from being dark, dangerous creatures of the night to wangsty drama queens with a penchant for lace frocks and pretty boys. From being death-dealers they became objects of lust, the kind you sigh about then get all wispyeyed. Still, kudos to Anne for her world-building, there is still something altogether "preternatural" about her writing and the amount of times she uses that word. Author Poppy Z Brite kicked off her career with the very memorable Lost Souls, which was definitely a return to vampires as hedonistic killers rather than wimps. She added some grit and debauchery with memorable characters such as Nothing, Christian and Zillah, who thought nothing of ripping out throats, sans the wangst. Sadly (and perhaps wisely) Poppy elected to move onto other genres but her standalone vampire novel is definitely a keeper for the genre. By then you would reckon vampires were done for in the media, right? Most editors and publishers are

assured to roll their eyes and hiss when yet another vampire yarn drops into their inbox. No, it gets worse. The romance genre cottoned onto the idea that supernatural creatures, including vampires, were actually, dead sexy. With a diversification in the genre, avid readers received loads of treats with neckbiting boinkfests. The vampire's role as killer and drinker of human blood was downplayed to that of a tormented lover looking for his soul mate. Eternal love replaced eternal damnation. No matter how much the publishers clamour that vampire fiction is undead, should be buried six feet under or staked and left to sift to ashes in the sun, the fact remains that people still want new stories about vampires and people continue writing stories about vampires. As long as there is a market, there will be a product. I am not going to talk about the Buffyverse here. To be quite honest, I simply have not gotten into that milieu, so I am going to skip it and go onto the dreaded Twilight phenomenon. I had no choice but to read all four books so I could catch copycat authors before they hoodwinked an unsuspecting editor (me). To put it mildly, it was a load of co-dependent obsessive relationships tangled in a lukewarm plot. Wangst on, and not a single fang or exposed carotid artery to be seen. Edward makes Louis look like a cold-hearted bitch. There is a lot wrong with this story but it goes beyond the scope of this article to tell you why. If you are morbidly curious, google "Edward abuses Bella" and see what you get. You will be reading until next year, if you have the stomach for it. The Southern Vampire Mysteries are worth looking into. Although a fair romantic element still seems evident, there is a standard urban fantasy milieu here that has far more grit than Twilight. Having only recently started watching True Blood, the TV series based on the books, I have found the setting to be quite entertaining, slightly tongue-in-cheek and quite a good treatment of the vampire genre. Oh, and the vamps have fangs and OMG, they drink blood.

A while ago two friends of mine, were without transport while all three of us needed to get to a birthday party, I ended up ferrying them on my scooter. One of them would later blog about the event "I've ridden on the back of a scooter while wearing a green wizard robe and flipflops, today I am a real Cape Townian". I suppose we each had such a moment where we realized we are now part of this city's culture. A Gautenger visiting Cape Town, is a bit like a Texan visiting San Francisco. A conformist culture versus one that embraces diversity. Where each person is encouraged to live out and celebrate their weird eccentricities. Many run away or make fun of it - but some of us love it, and we decided to stay. I came to love a city where I could be myself and nobody would care. Ultimately - the Cape Town vibe is all about how the individual can be themselves. Of course, once you realize that, you tend to start excluding some areas from "the real Cape Town" because their culture is limiting and exclusionary. By and large - they are the same areas where lots of celebrities buy property and which get featured on international tourist brochures. The people of the real Cape Town can only look on with the same bemused irritation that we grant all tourists... and merely owning a house in the snobburbs doesn't make your a Cape Townian, it just makes you a tourist with a bigger budget. What makes a Cape Townian is doing and living your own life in ways you would previously never have dared. The freedom to be weird, and not care when other people are weird... that is so Cape Town.

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