Elephant Magazine

Cape Town

Elephant Magazine is a quarterly publication focusing on art and visual culture. The magazine’s ultimate aim is to cover and uncover new talent and trends across all creative disciplines; to boldly showcase the daring, the beautiful and the different. Marc Valli, the Editor-in-Chief of Elephant is a long-standing dear friend of Pocko, and so it was our privilege to work on this a very special collaboration with them in 2013 – Destination Cape Town. Destination Cape Town is a collage of art, short stories and conversations that aim to capture the energy of Cape Town. This is a place that combines intense beauty with flashes of horror amid a vibrant creative community. 

After this feature on Cape Town was first discussed, Nicola Schwartz’s reflex was to call Stacy Hardy (who is in his words ‘a writer, editor, and general cultural mover’) and start a conversation with her. After this initial discussion they came up with about a dozen different ways of putting together this unique feature – which says something about the multi-layered, multicultural complexity of this very special location. Pocko and Elephant collaborated with a pool of highly talented contributors, writers, and artists, including Lindokuhle Nkosih, Luke Daniel, Athi-Patra Ruga, Stacy Hardy, Toast Coetzer, Ntone Edjabe, Stephen Lamb, Pieter Hugo, Montole Moorosi, Bradley Abrahams, Michael Stevenson, Julia Rosa Clark, Dan Halter and Porky Hefer. We thank them for their contributions to this very special feature.

There is not one coherent or conclusive view of Cape Town and it would have been foolish for us to try and find one. This is why the feature was named a ‘collage’. Through literature, art, music and fascinating conversations there was an aim to capture the beauty, the drama, and the complexity of Cape Town.

Once you are there you find yourself discussing issues which are very different from those you would be talking about in Paris or London. The place is at the same time very sophisticated and very raw – Nicola Schwartz

One of the key ideas to work on was Pieter Hugo’s series ‘There is a place in hell for me and my friends’; a portrait of the city and its people. Nicola followed in Hugo’s footsteps, interviewing his subjects (from galerists, to artists, to fashion designers), then complementing these long conversations with figures deeply involved in the local reality such as the writer, journalist, DJ and magazine editor Ntone Edjabe and the designer Stephen Lamb, whose work engages social and environmental issues.

This is a place that combines intense beauty with flashes of horror amid a vibrant creative community