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Special Issue: Johannesburg Lasts

Welcome to Johannesburg Lasts, a special issue of the Ellipses Journal for Creative Research and a creative research project spanning two years, twelve contributors and an editorial collective of seven. The contributions in this issue cover a range of creative research practices focused on specters and hauntings, beginnings and endings, things lost, and legacies that last and linger across the Greater Johannesburg region. The contributions stretch across and compress time and space, speaking to movement and migration, geological and ecological decay, dust and particulate matter, radioactive energies and emerging forms of workplace control. 

This issue was edited and facilitated by Naadira Patel, Ruth Sacks, Karin Tan, Skye Quadling, Tara Weber, Andrei van Wyk and Jarrett Erasmus, and was realised with the support and digital expertise of Andrea Hayes, Glen Mudau, Laura Seal, Mitch Said, and Paul Sika.

Full Editorial

Working Life

By William Shoki, Riley Grant, Paul Sika,

This work is an attempt to broadly review the historical transformation of workplace control, in order to understand recent forms of control encapsulated by the “activity-based workplace” model in high commitment organisations.

and so we may feel echoes

By Jeremy Bolen, Nina Barnett,

And so we may feel echos is a film and research paper focusing on particulate and the ways in which particles interact with humans, non-humans and landscapes.

Resistance To Ruin – Lithic Encounters

By Brigitta Stone-Johnson, Andrea Hayes,

Have you ever noticed that the wild, or wilderness is always elsewhere? Another place, primordial forest, wild savanna, desert, mountain range unspoiled by the human, thriving elsewhere?


By Skye Quadling, Karin Tan,

DigiCleanse is a specially adapted tangent of a broader project (Head in the Cloud - Working Title) which takes a fictional look at the effects of the long term exposure to environmental changes caused by mining.

Narratives Of Mobility

By Nkgopoleng Moloi, Glen Mudau, Brigitta Stone-Johnson,

Patriarchy, misogyny and their legacy has resulted in a pervasive culture that makes womxn feel unsafe in central Johannesburg. Womxn have had to find strategies of survival to allow them to navigate. These strategies entail personal mappings of routes and lines that allow womxn to move through the city.

The Bantu Men’s Social Centre (BSMC): Towards a South African Jazz Hauntology

By Brett Pyper, Andrea Hayes,

From the mid 1920s, the Bantu Mens’ Social Centre (BMSC) served as a lively centre of cultural activity for black men – and some women – in Johannesburg, attracting and nurturing many outstanding intellectuals and artists.

You Have A New Message

By Sarah de Villiers, Sumayya Vally, Glen Mudau,

Operating at a multitude of spatial layers, this project seeks to reveal unseen currents, seepages, damage and ecological alterations, emergent through Johannesburg’s mining landscapes.

8 Seconds in Uneven Numbers

By Dorothee Kreutzfeldt , Laura Seal,

What emerges or is withheld in the demolition of a burnt-out building in the Johannesburg city centre at the end of November 2019? To this day, the cause of a fire at the Bank of Lisbon in September 2018, which lasted for 3 days and led to its implosion, has not been disclosed publicly.