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Our cover artist for this issue is the artist Mari Katayama. Titled Bystander (2016) it is taken from a series inspired by Naoshima Onna Bunraku, a traditional puppet theatre practice that is performed exclusively by women from the Naoshima region.
For these works, Katayama photographed the hands of members of the all-female traditional puppet theatre group, printing them onto material and crafting them into a many-handed doll. Against the backdrop of a natural landscape the vastness of the sea, Katayama alludes to the mythological beauty of Venus, or Aphrodite and appears herself to be born of the sea. The tentacle-like arms and hands that have become her own limbs, repairing the fragmented image of her body, one rebuilt by borrowing those of various others.
Featuring, travel writing from Pico Iyer, an exclusive short story by Japanese literary star author of Breasts and Eggs Mieko Kawakami we delve into and celebrate the emergence of Haiku in Africa and much more.