SOUTH AFRICA FROM AFAR
South Africa from Afar is a group of authors & commentators based in and around Vancouver, Canada, who have been writing about South Africa in different genres. Our writings provide historical, socio-political, and personal lenses through which to view the country and its peoples before, during and after the apartheid era. However, we are aware our voices represent only a fraction of South Africa’s broad cultural and racial diversity and complexity.
In January 2022, we read excerpts from our writings in an online event in which we connected with others interested in sharing and hearing stories, experiences and perspectives of South Africa and its neighbouring countries.
Daniela Cohen immigrated from South Africa to Canada as a teenager and returned 14 years later to volunteer with a non-profit empowering rural African women to share their stories. Currently based in Vancouver, she is a freelance journalist and creative non-fiction writer with work published in New Canadian Media, ZEKE magazine, and others.
Arianna Dagnino spent five years in South Africa working as an international reporter for the Italian press and has written the post-apartheid novel The Afrikaner (Guernica, Toronto), also translated into German (Die Afrikaanerin, PalmArt Press, Berlin) – www.ariannadagnino.com
Lawrence Feuchtwanger was born and grew up in South Africa. His poetry collection, Refugee Song (Signature Editions, 2014) is a lyrical recounting of a return journey to his birthplace. His novel manuscript, Skin, is a story of cross-racial love, violence, and political drama in apartheid South Africa.
Stefano Gulmanelli spent the crucial years of the 1990s reporting from southern Africa. Based in Jo’burg, he had the chance to witness the transition of power and meet people across the whole social and political spectrum, from former SADF members turned mercenaries to black anti-apartheid activists.
Cecil Hershler immigrated to Canada from South Africa in 1974. He has been an oral storyteller for over 35 years. Many of these stories relate to his childhood in his birth country. More recently, he has begun to transform these stories into poetic prose.
Dennis Kleinman is a South African voice actor based in Los Angeles. He narrated and co-produced the audiobook of Arianna Dagnino's novel The Afrikaner – www.aworldvoice.com
Deborah Vieyra is a writer and performer from South Africa. Now based in Vancouver, she was Surrey Muse's featured poet for September 2021. Her play The Bluebottles was recently chosen for Jersey City Theatre Center's Voices festival. She is a Fulbright scholar and holds an MA in Applied Theatre.