It all began in March 2008 when I was passing through Joburg on my way from Smithfield, home of the Platteland Preview, to Berlin. Sharlene Khan, Fouad Asfour and I were having a drink somewhere nice in Melville and in spite of Smithfield being a far cry from home town Joburg, we had heard about the very first JoburgArtFair opening in 6 weeks time in $andton…

Me: “so how does one get onto the fringe? ”
They: “what fringe?”

That was the moment when an idea began to wiggle and stretch….. I flew off whilst Sharlene and Fouad and their colleagues of the Dead Revolutionaries Club got to it: they found a great venue through Benjy Francis – the old Potato Shed of the original Joburg Market in Newtown. They came up with the title for the show: Esikhaleni – Spacial

11705175_10152857159932531_466250365141510213_nA year later we were pondering how and where. Theartistformerlyknownas Sharlene Khan and Fouad Asfour had been approached by Karin Reinprecht, one of the first to buy into Jonathan Liebman’s brainchild- Arts on M
ain which has since grown into this inner city peeled-egg which he called The Maboneng Precinct. Karin said: “why not put your dead elephant sculpture in my space as the 2009 Joburg Fringe!” Now, Karin’s space was small, and the old question came to mind: “How do you get an elephant into a Mini?” Jonathan came up with the perfect solution to put it upstairs in what is now the Event Space, and 6 of us with Garfield Taylor directing, built my sad dead beast in 5 days…



480849_184740474983614_370066738_nAnd so it began. Every year since then the event has grown with more artists participating – run on a Blikkiesdorp budget (shoestring), guts and perseverance.

– Claudia Shneider