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Based in South Africa Active since 2016 I first met Pumflet co-founder Ilze Wolff at her design/architecture studio on the upper-side of Buitengracht Street in Cape Town to collect a few editions of Pumflet for the opening of Publishing Against the Grain. “Have you ever been to the GSB?” Wolff asked, referring to the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business. “It’s just up the road from the museum. It used to be the Breakwater Prison,” she explained, handing me a brown envelope. “If you go there you’ll find a small brochure about the prison, but that’s about it. There’s also no indication of this history on the map that the V&A Waterfront provide visitors.” The contents of the envelope were a map that had been altered to show the proximity of the prison to Zeitz MOCAA and a letter that outlined the nature of this intervention, the traumatic history of the prison, and its subsequent erasure from the public eye. “We are concerned with the destruction of collective spaces of the social imagination and the impact on the historic present of a place like the V&A,” it read. It is a concern that extends to each of the site-specific editions that Pumflet have produced; one that inevitably makes you question the extent of this loss, and the various ways in which it is perpetuated, right here on one’s doorstep. – Sven Christian, Adriane Iann Assistant Curator of Books and Works on Paper at Zeitz MOCAA

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Publishing Against the Grain

Publishing Against the Grain highlights the current state of publishing and art criticism as it exists in small journals, experimental publications, websites, and radio, as well as other innovative platforms around the world.

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