Design Indaba offers the perfect antidote to the World Cup hype that, hopefully, will soon be over. Stefan G Bucher’s cover, resplendent with a voracious little character, part angry hippopotamus maybe, with all of its low-tech hand drawn felt tip defining lines intact, sums up the dichotomy that is contemporary multicultural South Africa away from the formulated glare of cameras largely pointed at international – generally well-paid- visiting sportsmen.
Design Indaba is a design magazine that, through political will or the simple lack of a choice under the unforgiving African sun, is committed to the ideology that a better world is possible through creativity. Highlighting design and creative industries – the odd bit of art and music being part of the offer- it is one of the leading examples demonstrating that political clarity and good design values can still go hand-in-hand.
With a fierce editorial position that shamefully often reminds the rest of the world that notions such as a tenable and equitable feminism is an achievable reality, this is a creative journal that seriously challenges the smug self-congratulatory positions of many ‘western’ positions on design and creative culture. Leading by example rather than only vitriol, Design Indaba’s voices remains simultaneously cool and radical. Many of the trendy notions about design taught in European and American institutions are here postulated in the context of a society that is frankly dependent the actualization of ideas that remain liberal talking points in more well-resourced regions of the globe.
Following on from the Design Indaba 2010 conference event – one of the most cutting-edge conferences of its kind- the issue’s cover acts as a kind of beacon indicating a revisiting of some of the keynote topics covered at this international powwow. In amongst the serious topics covered relating to the Design Indaba event, you’ll find plenty of other content covering equally important topics in a more laidback manner. Africa’s a drag? You bet. Odidiva, the new tranny face of the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation and various local hip scenarios, explains the power of wearing a dress. And Henry Cloete gets up close and personal with the electrowhitetrash Voortrekker Dénouement superstars Die Antwoord who are currently taking the educated world by storm (Yes, I guess the Anglophone regions will have to wait a little longer…)