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Jacket Notes: Emma Sadleir on what motivated her to co-write Selfies, Sexts and Smartphones

Published in the Sunday Times

Selfies, Sexts and Smartphones by Emma Sadleir and Lizzie Harrison
Penguin Random House, R220

I’ve always dreamt of writing a book – the idea seemed so glamorous. I learnt with my first book, Don’t Film Yourself Having Sex … And Other Legal Advice for the Age of Social Media, just how unglamorous book writing can be.

I wasn’t sure I had the stamina to write another one. That’s where my co-writer Lizzie Harrison came in!

What motivated the book was a legal case in our office when a 13-year-old girl was harassed to such an extent via WhatsApp by a 14-year-old boy that she landed in ICU, having tried to take her own life. He had repeatedly asked her to send a nude photograph, which she eventually did, and it went viral.

That’s when I realised the magnitude of the problems that young people are dealing with today. Prevention is better than cure – once the harm is done in the digital age, it can have serious long-term consequences. We give talks at schools across the continent every day, but there are only so many people we can reach face to face.

That, coupled with the desperate calls, e-mails and messages we were receiving every day from parents and teenagers who were either the victims of social-media abuse or who had made their own mistakes online, was the catalyst in getting us to write a book specifically aimed at teenagers.

The vision was that it should be a “driver’s licence for the digital highway”. Before you can drive a car, you must learn the rules of the road; in the same way, before someone is given a smartphone, they should know how to use it properly and safely. Just as a mistake while driving could have serious consequences, so, too, can the incorrect usage of smartphones have negative and life-altering consequences.

Lizzie and I decided that if we could create an easy-to-read, digestible book for teenagers, perhaps we could influence their behaviour online, and help to create a culture of responsible digital citizens.

This book is a survival guide for every teenager who owns a smartphone or goes online. It covers all the major issues, including cyberbullying, sexting, addiction, internet safety, porn, anxiety, depression, privacy and reputation.

Book details

Launch - Making Marigold: Beaders of Bulawayo (24 January)

Making Marigold: Beaders of Bulawayo is a portrait of a women’s beading co-operative specialising in loomed beadwork, based in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

Over 200 photographs reveal the sumptuous glamour of the Marigold beadwork and necklaces. Short, stand-alone narrative vignettes offer background insights into the making and development of the Marigold co-operative.

How did these women, whose skilled practice and creative impulses evident in every necklace, perfect this practice?

And what has sustained their efforts across the decades?

Joni Brenner is an artist who revisits the same subject – whether live model or skull – over and again, a practice that informs her understanding of learning through doing, looking closely and recognising shifts.

Her belief in the value of repetition underpins her fascination, and her collaboration, with the Marigold beading co-operative.

She is a Principal Tutor in History of Art at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Elizabeth Burroughs is a researcher and writer whose interests include the role of languages in culture and identity, the nature of consciousness, and the processes of making.

She has worked primarily in the field of education, lecturing in English Literature and Linguistics, and as senior manager for Umalusi, the quality council for schools and college education in South Africa.

She now works as a freelance consultant and writer.

Event Details

 

Book Details

The humble home: four books that celebrate simple and eco-friendly abodes

Published in the Sunday Times

By Roberta Thatcher

Simple Home: Calm Spaces for Comfortable Living
By Mark and Sally Bailey
Ryland, Peters & Small, R499

For Mark and Sally Bailey, British designers and furniture makers, the three words you should be thinking about when decorating your home are: “repair, reuse, and rethink”. The duo, who have collaborated with the likes of Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Liberty, Conran and Habitat, believe a simple home should be “calm and uncluttered with each item carefully chosen”. In this book, they share tips and advice on how to achieve this effect, from buying well-made, well-designed items that will age gracefully, to looking to nature for inspiration when it comes to your colour scheme, sourcing from artisans where possible, and recycling furniture to make it meaningful and lasting. Their take-home message is that surrounding yourself solely with objects that you really love will allow you to enjoy the beautiful calm of an uncluttered home.

150 Best New Eco Home Ideas
By Francesc Zamora Mola
HarperCollins, R495

A fabulous review of 150 forward-thinking eco-friendly house designs, this beautifully presented book showcases the work of internationally renowned architects and designers who have achieved practical, innovative and beautiful solutions around the globe. Think a rammed-earth desert retreat in Arizona, US, with a huge rainwater harvesting and filtering solution, or a house in the woods in Sardinia, Italy, which was built without a single tree in its dense forest surroundings being cut down. If you’re looking to build or renovate your home with a minimal carbon footprint, consider this the ultimate gift to yourself.

Handmade Houses
By Richard Olsen
Rizzoli, R795

If there’s a book that will make you want to go out into the woods and build yourself a cabin, this is it. Author Richard Olsen features around two dozen hand-built homes around the globe, all of which celebrate the return to “low-tech” or even “anti-tech” building techniques and slow architecture. All the homes are made from natural and reclaimed materials, and while wood and salvaged metals are the heroes of the pages, more unconventional materials such as boulders, driftwood and even old wine vats show face too. Olsen introduces us to the owners, too – professionals and amateurs who personally designed and built each home, and their passions and vision is contagious. It’s inspirational reading for anyone interested in environmentally friendly design, craft, and the expression of personal style in the home.

Small Homes, Grand Living
Editors: Gestalten, Gestalten, R950

The opening pages of this beautiful book share a quote worth thinking about: “If you are able to live in a smaller home, then your rental costs will be lower. Renting or owning a smaller space means you need to earn less money, which results in the possibility of working fewer hours and having more time available. In other words, the luxury of time is a value that can replace the luxury of space if you are willing to live in a smaller, more compact home.” The book duly goes on to share an assortment of projects and homes that pay homage to creative usage of space, as well as useful advice for creating small homes that are as comfortable as they are functional and beautiful.

Book details

Zapiro's back. His target? 2017, aka the year of Juju's reboot, Zille's tweets, and a certain shebeen in Saxonwold...

No little thorn in the flesh or irritating fly in the ointment, Zapiro just cannot be ignored.

It’s been one helluva year. We’ve held our breath thinking Zuma may resign. We’ve seen Juju re-booted and Zille tweeted out. Racial tensions rise, tempers and fires flare. Still the rich get richer and the poor get Khayelitsha.

We’ve seen Trump’s megalomania, Bell Pottinger’s spin and Pravin’s fightback, cadres captured and Cabinet’s relocation to Saxonwold Shebeen.

GuptaLeaks threaten to drown us and as the flood rises the rodents scatter.

And who better to make sense of this than Zapiro, political analyst, cartoonist and agent provocateur.

He has the ability to knock the air out of us, to rock us back in our seats, to force us bolt upright with a 1000-watt jolt of electrifying shock. He makes us angry, he makes us laugh and he makes us think. He shines a light on the elephant in the room, presents the emperor in all his naked glory. Impossible to brush off, he is determined to provoke a response.

When all around is crumbling, when fake news and zipped lips conceal the truth, Zapiro comes to the rescue. With the dissecting eye of a surgeon, the rapier-like point of his pen exposes flimflam, and reveals with a line what lies behind the action.

Zapiro is Jonathan Shapiro. Born in 1958, he went through architecture at UCT, conscription, activism, detention and a Fulbright scholarship to New York before establishing himself as South Africa’s best-known cartoonist. He has been the editorial cartoonist for the Sunday Times since 1998 and Daily Maverick starting 2017. Previously he was editorial cartoonist for Mail & Guardian and for The Times. He was also editorial cartoonist for Sowetan and Independent Newspapers. He has published 21 best-selling annuals as well as The Mandela Files, VuvuzelaNation (a collection of his sporting cartoons) and DemoCrazy (his cartoon collection on SA’s 20-year trip.)

Book details

Truly unique, Nataniël's Closet offers a visual celebration as exceptional as its author

Closet
Truly unique, Closet offers a visual celebration as exceptional as its author.

As Nataniël looks back on his 30-year career in show business, he takes us into his closet, showing his first self-made costumes, introducing his three designers and sharing close-up details of the most astounding costumes from his shows. He shares magazine covers and photo sessions, sometimes i in exotic locations, and discusses his favourite colours.

Also with catalogues, and magazine and CD covers, Closet is a visual feast, a collector’s item and an ode to an exceptional South African artist.

Nataniël was born in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape. He studied music at Stellenbosch University and first became popular as a cabaret and stage artist, but since the 1990s has also built a reputation as a writer, columnist and celebrity chef. His most recent book, 150 Stories, dominated the bestseller charts for weeks on end.
 
 
Book details

Strijdom van der Merwe's Sculpting the Land reminds us of the capacity of an individual to alter the universe by embracing the changing of nature

As a land artist Strijdom van der Merwe uses the materials provided by the chosen site. His sculptural forms take shape in relation to the landscape.

It is a process of working with the natural world using sand, water, wood, rocks, etc. He shapes these elements into geometrical forms that participate with their environment, continually changing until their final probable destruction. He observes the fragility of beauty while not lamenting its passing. What remains is a photographic image, a fragment of the imagination.

While a visual record is materially all that is left, he also leaves us a reminder of the capacity, however feeble, of an individual to alter the universe by embracing the ceaseless changing of nature, actively contributing to it and in so doing, modulating and beautifying the outcome.
 

Strijdom van der Merwe (b. 1961) is a full-time land artist who lives in Stellenbosch. He studied art at the Universities of Stellenbosch (South Africa), Hooge School Voor de Kunste (Utrecht, Holland), the Academy of Art and Architecture (Prague, the Czech Republic) and the Kent Institute of Art and Design (Canterbury, England).

Among the many decorations he received are the Jackson Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, a medal of honour from the South African Academy of Arts and Science, the Prince Claus grant in Amsterdam and the Kanna award at the Oudtshoorn Arts Festival for best visual art projection in a musical collaboration. In 2008 he was also nominated for the DaimlerChrysler award for sculpture in public spaces.

He has held numerous exhibitions and commissions on invitation in South Korea, Turkey, Belgium, France, Sweden, Lithuania, Japan, Australia, Germany, England the Netherlands and Italy and his work has been bought by various private and public collectors locally and abroad.

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