Sarah Britten

Exposed in Japan

“It’s good exposure,” Barbara says. She is a German woman of a certain age who represents a gallery with branches in Chicago, Berlin, London and Rome. “And it’s affordable,” she adds. “Some of the big art shows cost €10 000. My stand here was £600.” “Enough exposure and you develop pneumonia.” I laugh wanly, thinking of…

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Big in Japan (I hope)

Today, I board a Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong. I’ll have a lot of luggage with me: a suitcase filled with weather-appropriate clothing, 2 large portfolio bags filled with paintings in lipstick, a selection of A4 prints, flyers, business cards, and 30 metres of Velcro. From there, my husband and my friend Juan will…

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An open letter to 2014

Dear 2014, I know a lot of people can’t wait to the see the back of you. They say they hated you, you were horrible and they’d rather forget you. Quite frankly, they say (and they don’t even bother to whisper) you were crap. So I wanted you to know that not everyone feels that…

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Take drugs? Don’t help the piranhas

I’ve never taken drugs. Well, not the illegal kind anyway. I prefer to walk up to the counter at the pharmacy, recite my request and wait mournfully to be told that Discovery isn’t paying. As a kid in primary school, I regularly took overdoses of my asthma pills (Microfillin; active ingredient theophylline) in order to…

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South Africans! Beware of the sea

Are you planning a seaside holiday in December? Are you thinking about putting on a swimming cossie and entering the water? Perhaps you should reconsider. I have been reading the Daily Sun since 2006, and amid all the stories about tokoloshes, 4-5s, muthi and sangomas, it was this piece of advice that stood out for…

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Amazing how a year can change a story

It’s August 15. I’m enjoying the Joburg spring weather at a table at one of my favourite haunts, Doppio Zero in Rosebank, typing up copy changes on a client newsletter in between forkfuls of salmon fishcake. On this day a year ago I spoke at TEDxJohannesburg. You can watch the video here. “In the end,…

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They can’t vote. We can. They need our help.

Are you voting next Wednesday? (I hope so.) Here’s something to think about. You’re not just voting for yourself — you’re voting on behalf of a whole lot of South Africans who can’t. Eighteen million of them, in fact — 37% of South Africans are under the age of 18, and they are the ones…

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An EFF beret, Nkandla and Freedom Day

I have mixed feelings about Freedom Day. A sense of relief is mixed with a sense of frustration. Optimism is muddled with ineffable loss of something different, something a little better than what we have now. I think Nomboniso Gasa said it far better than I on Facebook yesterday: Freedom, I think, is never complete….

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New weird adventures in internet dating

It was short and to the point. As was: Yes, I’ve recently had another crack at internet dating and yes, it can be depressing. Though this did make me smile: Right now, I probably know more about internet dating than anyone else, because recently I spent 10 days procuring four consecutive dates on one day….

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In defence of Oscar’s memory

“I don’t recall, M’lady.” “I don’t know, M’lady.” “I’m not sure, M’lady.” The refrain now familiar from the Oscar Pistorius trial has entered popular culture and found its way into memes. The underlying assumption: that Oscar’s memory loss is very convenient, and quite likely a cover up. Because nobody has a memory that bad, right?…

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