Alternative to what? : the rise of Loslyf magazine

Kirsten, Marnell (2014-04)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In this study I analyse the first year of publication of Loslyf, the first and, at the time of its launch in June 1995, only Afrikaans pornographic magazine. The analysis comprises a historical account of its inception as relayed mainly by Ryk Hattingh, the first editor of Loslyf and primary creative force behind the publication. Such an investigation offers valuable insights into an aspect of South African media history as yet undocumented. As a powerful contributor to an Afrikaans imaginary, emerging at a time of political renewal, Loslyf provides a glimpse into the desires, tensions and tastes of and for an imagined community potentially still shaped by a censorial past. The magazine is worth studying, in part, as an example of an attempt at reinvesting the prescriptive and seemingly generic genre of pornography with cultural specificity and political content, with a view to making it more interesting and relevant. The study argues that whilst Loslyf succeeded in fracturing the “simulacrum” (Baudrillard 1990: 35) of pornographic representation, it also demonstrated that this kind of „alternativity‟ is difficult to sustain. An analysis of the written and visual content of the first 12 issues of the magazine, under Hattingh‟s editorship, investigates the basis of Loslyf‟s status as „alternative‟ publication. I conclude that the first year of Loslyf contributed towards the broader project of democratic expression in an expanding South African visual economy, as a simultaneously well considered and underrated (at the time of its publication at least) cultural product.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In hierdie studie analiseer ek die eerste jaar van publikasie van Loslyf as 'n baanbrekende en, in die tyd van sy ontstaan in Junie 1995, die enigste Afrikaanse pornografiese tydskrif. Hierdie analise behels ʼn historiese oorsig van die ontstaan van Loslyf soos hoofsaaklik verhaal deur Ryk Hattingh, die eerste redakteur van Loslyf en primêre kreatiewe mag agter die publikasie. So ʼn ondersoek bied waardevolle insig tot ʼn ongedokumenteerde aspek van Suid-Afrikaanse mediageskiedenis. As ʼn kultuurproduk wat ʼn kragtige bydrae gelewer het tot die Afrikaanse samelewing in ʼn tyd van politieke hernuwing, bied Loslyf ʼn weerkaatsing van die begeertes, spanninge en smake vir en van hierdie gemeenskap – begeertes en smake wat grootendeels gevorm is deur ʼn geskiedenis van sensuur. Dit is waardevol om die tydskrif te bestudeer as voorbeeld van 'n poging om die voorskriftelike en skynbaar generiese pornografiese genre met kulturele bepaaldheid en politiese inhoud te herbelê, ten einde hierdie genre meer interessant en relevant te maak. Hierdie studie beweer dat, terwyl Loslyf daarin slaag om die “simulakrum” (Baudrillard 1990: 35) van pornografiese voorstelling te breek, die publikasie ook demonstreer dat hierdie tipe „alternatiwiteit‟ moeilik volhoubaar is. ʼn Analise van die geskrewe en visuele inhoud van die eerste 12 uitgawes van die tydskrif, onder redakteurskap van Hattingh, ondersoek die basis van Loslyf se status as „alternatiewe‟ publikasie. Ek beslis dat Loslyf se eerste jaar bygedra het tot die breër inisiatief van demokratiese uitdrukking in ʼn ontwikkelende Suid- Afrikaanse visuele ekonomie, as gelyktydig goed deurdagte én ondergeskatte (veral ten tyde van sy ontstaan) publikasie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86663
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