LUNCHTIME LECTURE – KIM GURNEY: “Publishing as artistic practice”

Since 2015, Kim Gurney has published from arts-based research three books where contemporary art tells larger stories about the urban everyday, collective life, and social imaginaries, with a fourth in the works for 2023. These have generally focused upon ‘offspaces’ – exploring public space in Johannesburg inner-city through walking, new media and performance art; the artistic inner life of a studio building in existential limbo; the working principles of non-profit project spaces on the continent; and the invisible labours revealed by a back room institutional archive. Kim will share the processes behind assembling publications as creative outcomes which aim to perform the subject matter, and the challenges involved.

The books referenced in this talk are: The Art of Public Space: Curating and Re-imagining the Ephemeral City (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), August House is Dead, Long Live August House – The story of a Johannesburg Atelier (Fourthwall, 2017), Panya Routes: Independent art spaces in Africa (Motto, 2022), & Flipside – The Inadvertent Archive,which is currently in production with iwalewabooks (Bayreuth, Lagos & Jhb).

Dr Kim Gurney is based at the Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape, where she has been investigating sites of counterfactual imagination – independent art spaces, back room archives, and artisanal workshops. She brings a fusion of fine art, urban studies, and journalistic expertise together, favouring arts-based methods and experimenting with narrative forms. Her own art practice largely concerns disappearances of different kinds and makes restorative gestures – spanning studio work, public art, discourse and curation. She runs ad hoc a nomadic platform guerilla gallery; in 2023, it inhabits The Shed – a tiny space for big ideas. Kim has extensive experience as a writer and former editor in different genres, currently focused upon book projects.

Kim’s Panya Routes and August House is Dead, Long Live August House – The story of a Johannesburg Atelier are distributed by Karavan Press and Protea Distribution.

Karavan Press and Protea Distribution are local distribution partners for INTIMACY AND INJURY: In the Wake of #MeToo in India and South Africa


INTIMACY AND INJURY maps the travels of the global #MeToo movement in India and South Africa. Both countries have shared the infamy of being labelled the world’s ‘rape capitals’, with high levels of everyday gender-based and sexual violence. At the same time, both boast long histories of resisting such violence and its location in wider cultures of patriarchy, settler colonialism and class and caste privilege.

Voices and experiences from the global north have dominated debates on #MeToo which, although originating in the US, had considerable traction elsewhere, including in the global south. In India, #MeToo revitalised longstanding feminist struggles around sexual violence, offering new tactics and repertoires. In South Africa, it drew on new cultures of opposing sexual violence that developed online and in student protests. There were also marked differences in the ways in which #MeToo travelled in both countries, pointing to older histories of power, powerlessness and resistance. Through the lens of the #MeToo moment, the book tracks histories of feminist organising in both countries, while also revealing how newer strategies extended or limited these struggles.

INTIMACY AND INJURY is a timely mapping of a shifting political field around gender-based violence in the global south. In proposing comparative, interdisciplinary, ethnographically rich and analytically astute reflections on #MeToo, it provides new and potentially transformative directions to scholarly debates that are rarely brought into conversation with one another. With contributors located exclusively in South Africa and India, this book builds transnational feminist knowledge and solidarity in and across the global south.


Nicky Falkof is Associate Professor of Media Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Shilpa Phadke is Professor at the School of Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

Srila Roy is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Publisher: Manchester University Press

South African distribution partner: Karavan Press and Protea Distribution

ISBN (SA edition): 9780639749204

For Sale in South Africa and Namibia only. Not for export elsewhere.

Publication date: UK edition 2022, SA edition 2023

If you are a bookseller, please contact Protea Distribution to order copies of Cat Therapy. If you are a reader, please ask your local bookshop to order the book for you via Protea Distribution.

Karen Jennings at the Rondebosch Book Club

Earlier today, Karen Jennings addressed the Rondebosch Book Club about her novel, An Island. She called her talk “The novel no one wanted to publish”. She had a copy of the UK edition of the book with her. It was the first time I held it in my hands. Until it was published, I did not know that one of the quotes used for its cover would be taken from a review I wrote of Space Inhabited by Echoes, Karen’s debut poetry collection, for the Cape Times. I am so happy that these words are featured on the back of the novel. I have loved Karen’s work for a very long time. It is such an honour to be able to publish it in South Africa.

An Island is now available in seventeen different editions around the world.

This is Karavan Press’s:

At the end of her talk, Karen read from her new novel, Crooked Seeds, to be published around the world in April 2024! We can’t wait to share it with South African readers.

Karavan Press author Michael Boyd shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2023

It gives us great joy to announce that Karavan Press author Michael Boyd has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2023 with his story “Mama Blue”. Michael’s debut novel, The Weight of Shade, is forthcoming from Karavan Press.

“The story of a man remembering his life through the memories of his neighbour, Mama Blue. With touches of the magical, ‘Mama Blue’ is about hope in our ever-changing world, and how we can use the past to look forward.”

You can listen to Michael talk about his story here: “Mama Blue”

Congratulations, Michael, and all shortlisted authors!

Look out for The Weight of Shade, a haunting, gothic tale that explores the bearing of the past on our lives and whether we can ever escape the circumstances thrust upon us.

Karavan Press title: The Frightened by Lethokuhle Msimang

In this lyrical, fragmented novella, Lethokuhle Msimang uses autobiographical and poetic interventions to lead the reader through landscapes of loss and longing, travelling between France, China, Spain and South Africa, to explore the troubled terrain of leaving and finding home. At once exhilarating, heart-breaking and haunting, The Frightened speaks to the complexity of relationships, the pain of love, the effects of trauma, the necessity and constant work of healing, and the unfulfillable wish to feel a true sense of belonging. It is the story of finding one’s voice amidst inherited violence, and the importance of art and creativity in that process.

Publication date: April 2023

ISBN: 978-0-6397-7484-8

LETHOKUHLE MSIMANG was born in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. She graduated with a BA in Literary Studies and Creative Arts from the American University of Paris and an MA in Creative Writing from Rhodes University. Her poems have appeared in New Coin, Grocott’s Mail, Hanging Loose, The Paris/Atlantic and Stanzas, amongst others. She is the author of, Hubris, a collection of poems. The Frightened is her first novella.