VANSA operates as a support point and development agency for contemporary art practice in South Africa. We develop industry knowledge, resources, networks and projects that are concerned with realising new social, cultural and economic possibilities for contemporary art practice in the South African – and wider African – context. As of July 2014 the VANSA newsletter features a BOOKS section to review new and archival materials in the resource centre and feature interesting materials and people in public events.

VANSA is growing its resources centre – a reference library of African texts, DVDs and creative materials – that will be open to the public for viewing.

The VANSA books section is a space for critical ideas around art and art theory to be explored and developed.

DONATE BOOKS (publications, journals, magazines and books) and/or become part of our database of reviewers, and help develop the Reference Library into a relevant space to engage with arts practice in the country and abroad.

Library Times: Monday - Thursday, 09:00 - 17:00

Click here to download the VANSA resource centre content list


As book publishing grows both in South Africa and the rest of the continent, we see this platform as a way to engage with such material in ways that can expand ideas around contemporary art and extending to our members, the opportunity to contribute and engage such ideas. In particular theory that has its focus in the visual arts and/or engages with contemporary art practice in South Africa and internationally.

Every semester we will be reviewing a selection of books and publications about and around the visual arts and contemporary practice, under our new section called NOTES. A selection of five (5) books that will fit under the following topics:

  • Art Books/ Essays and texts
  • Social Science
  • Artist Book
  • Catalogue
  • Other

NOTES will also invite art book publishers, art theory writers, artists, curators and aficionados in art writing, to contribute material around the practice of critical writing in the arts.

VANSA Books: Reviews

In 2015 VANSA BOOKS received a selection of local publications for review. Here we bring you two reviews; Raimi Gbadamosi reflects on the graphic novel series Kwezi by Loyiso Mkize and Athi Mongezeleli Joja writes about A Long Way Home | Migrant Worker Worlds 1800 – 2014 published by Wits Press in 2014.

Breyten Breytenbach, A Monologue in Two Voices by Sandra Saayman, Reviewed by Karabo Kgoleng

I knew Breyten Breytenbach artistically as a writer first: one of the members of the literary movement of the 1960’s - Die Sestigers, along with Ingrid Jonker, Andre Brink and Etienne le Roux. It was born in France, they were Afrikaners whose work would invariably get them into trouble with the Apartheid regime because their focus was on freedom for everyone, expressed through art. This was interestingly problematic because they were the children of the volk.

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