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Mehita Iqani

Mehita Iqani

I am a member of the ITCH Editorial Board. I have been involved in ITCH since 2003, when I started the publication. I have a PhD in Media Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences. I am currently a Senior Lecturer in Media Studies in the School of Literature, Language and Media at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 00:00

Wits University adopts ITCH

ITCH is proud and delighted to announce that the School of Literature, Language and Media at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) has taken over its publication. The first issue of ITCH (and the eleventh issue of the online journal overall) to be published by the University will appear in April 2013.

This is an exciting new development for ITCH, as it means that the journal will benefit not only from the insitutional backing of one of the most prestigious universities in South Africa, but that it will also be able to draw on the immense wealth of intellectual and creative talent based there. ITCH will enter this new phase of its existence with a new editorial board in place, as well as future involvement from postgraduate students in the Wits School of Literature, Language and Media.

ITCH has had a long association with Wits: the journal was originally established by Wits graduate Mehita Iqani and publisher Brendon Bell-Roberts in 2003 and since then has attracted a substantial reputation as a creative journal committed to providing an open and experimental space for new and established writers and artists. Discussions between Mehita (now a Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at Wits) and Bronwyn Law-Viljoen (the head of the Creative Writing programme at Wits) about the future of ITCH and the possibility of a creative journal in the School led to the proposal that it consider taking on the publication of ITCH. ITCH fits well with the aims of the SLLM and the aspirations of the Faculty of Humanities under Dean Tawana Kupe (who was a member of the original editorial board of ITCH).

ITCH will continue its commitment to new and experimental creative expression and to seeking a wide readership both within and beyond the University. It will continue to publish the work of new and established writers and artists. We believe that the new partnership with Wits will allow the journal to extend and deepen its mandate, and create more opportunites for writers and artists.

A newly formed editorial board is now in place and a new ITCH website will launch with the first issue in November 2012. Until then, this website remains live with the archive of all ten existing online issues (which will be transferred over to the new platform in due course). The new website will feature new tools and facilities that will make submission easier and more efficient, and be able to accommodate more complex audio and visual submissions.

ITCH and Wits are delighted by this development and foresee a fruitful and dynamic future for the journal.

A personal note from the outgoing ITCH Editor, Mehita Iqani:  
I am so proud of everything that ITCH has achieved over the past nine years: publishing in print, publishing online, publishing the work of around 1,000 contributors on paper and in binary code during that time, creating a community, and staying true to the mandate of supporting creative expression in all its forms. I am deeply grateful for having had the opportunity to work on this project for so long. I have learned so much. I have become who I am. ITCH not only taught me things, but delivered me gifts: I have made friends with many people whom I first met through ITCH. I have stayed friends with the wonderful Brendon and Suzette Bell-Roberts with whom I first started this awesome project. I have enjoyed the challenge and satisfaction of being able to manifest ideas into real things. ITCH has been - and will always be - an important part of my identity. I am affirmed by the fact that Wits University recognises the value that ITCH holds, enough to adopt it and continue supporting its publication. ITCH needs a future that is collaborative and increasingly open, and in which many more people can play a part in its making. I am excited to continue working with all of the marvellous new colleagues at Wits who have come on board to co-manifest ITCH in this new chapter of its life: as the Journal of Creative Expression of the School of Literature, Language and Media at Wits. I am very hopeful and energised by this new chapter in ITCH's life. Thank you to all past contributors and collaborators (especially Hein Bekker), who have helped to pave the pathway to here and now. The future is ahead, it will be better: onward and upward!
Sometimes I think that I tried to do too much, too soon in my life. I kind of managed to get a bunch of things done during my twenties (sayonara, my absolutely-not-wasted-at-all youth!), but my energy and focus are shifting. Now I've only got the 'too much'; the 'too soon' is long gone.

I never imagined that I might see the day when I not only had to pen an eleventh editorial for a digital edition of ITCH, but when this little publication would no longer be an independent creative magazine but the "creative expression journal" of the School of Literature, Language and Media (SLLM) at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Look who's all grown up. Not just little old ITCH – me, too. I have high hopes for this new chapter in ITCH's life. It's a small step; it's a giant leap. This small, creative journal that was once produced through the efforts of mainly just little old me (with indispensable help from other wonderful persons – Hein! Karen! Li! Vuyo! Karina! – from time to time) has now become an official creative journal of one of the best Universities in South Africa.

I have mixed feelings about this. The most prominent emotion that comes up is one of pride. Wow. A group of serious and impressive academics in the fields of literature, language and media agreed that the reputation of ITCH, its scope and network, made it worth adopting. All that hard work, those long solo hours editing, curating and uploading, has certainly paid off. I'm so pleased: ITCH will now continue to exist, with or without me. Without me? What? That's right.... This new chapter means that I am no longer absolutely needed. Sometimes this makes me feel sad. Separation anxiety. A loss of agency. Even though I want to move on with my career and make space for others to shape and reshape this publication, it sometimes feels hard to let go. Hard, but not impossible. It's a little emotional, but it's for the best. Its time for ITCH to go and be a grown up out there in the world, and this new guardian – in the form of a brilliant and accomplished editorial board and the institutional recognition and support from Wits' SLLM – will provide the kind of input and networking that I could never manage all on my own, and which to be honest, I just don't have the energy for any longer.

Here is a little dose of realism: a big university like Wits is a bit like an oil tanker. It takes time for such a huge ship to turn. It can't make quick and sudden maneuvers. It is very likely that as ITCH is absorbed into the institutional culture of the university, it will take a little time to adjust to new processes of communication and production. So please remember this, and please bear with us as we develop our new systems and modes of communicating with contributors and readers. I have no doubt that with each issue, the new-fangled ITCH will improve not only in terms of the scope of each edition's content, but in the ways that we do things. Any member of the editorial board will welcome any feedback or suggestions that you might have. This first edition published by the SLLM is a first step to what I believe will become a brilliant future. It has taken a lot of effort and collaboration in order to create this new, more flexible, digital platform for the magazine. It has not been easy to transfer all of the archival material from the old site architecture to the new. Some things might not have come across very smoothly. We are very likely to find a few glitches that need fixing. We will smoothen and we will fix as we go along. If there is something we need to know about, tell us. We are committed to doing whatever we need to do in order to ensure that all of the archival content is properly represented in such a way as to do justice to all past ITCH contributors.

Stepping aside as ITCH editor (even though I will remain on the editorial board) has been a long time coming. I believe that I have learned everything I can possibly learn from ITCH. For ten years, I have been involved in conceptualizing, communicating, editing, pulling together and publishing five paper, and ten digital issues of ITCH (well, eleven if you count this one). It has been awesome, in the very literal sense of the word. But I have other projects to which I want to devote my time and intellectual energy. It is time now for fresh blood to take over and make ITCH something new. It is time for ITCH to serve as a platform for other young, creative people to learn things about creative, independent publishing by doing them. If you would like to get involved in ITCH – especially if you are a Wits student – don't hesitate to get in touch. We would love to hear from you. The extent to which you can get involved is in direct proportion to the energy you have to share.

My days at the helm of the zippy, but often leaking, little speedboat that was ITCH are now over. Now we have a bigger, more stable and better-resourced ship. We have some marvelous ideas for the voyages that we plan to take in the years ahead, and we invite you to come along on those journeys. I'm taking early retirement as captain. Now I'm just a member of the crew, who will sometimes be scrubbing the deck, but mostly will be cheering while other members of the editorial team chart the waters and set sail. ONWARD!
Thursday, 03 May 2012 09:35

Contributor Networking Event

ITCH contributors, past and present, based in Johannesburg, South Africa (or nearby) are invited to attend a lunch networking event on Friday 11 May 2012, from 13h00 - 15h00. The event will take place at the University of the Witwatersrand (in the Graduate Seminar Room in the South-west Engineering Building, East Campus) and refreshments will be provided. The event is generously sponsored by the University Faculty of Humanities and is part of the 2012 WALE Festival.

Members of the ITCH community are warmly invited to attend and meet the ITCH team as well as fellow contributors and to find out more about the history and future of ITCH. For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
ITCH is very pleased to welcome a new intern to the fold. Woodman Nhlanhla Maphalala is currently a student at the University of the Witswatersrand, and is studying a Postgraduate Degree in Creative Writing. Woodman is an energetic, social, hardworking individual who enjoys reading and doing creative activities such as painting and writing in his down time. In addition he has a passion for music and entertainment, when he is not trying to dominate his friends' News Feeds on Twitter and Tumblr. He finished his undergraduate degree last year, majoring in English and Media Studies.
Saturday, 03 March 2012 09:27

` submissions are closed!

Thank you to everyone who submitted work for the next issue of ITCH Online, to be curated around the symbol ≠.

The editor is currently going through all submissions and preparing the next magazine. As ITCH is a volunteer-run magazine which is squeezed in-between many other day-jobs and salary-earning projects, this tends to take a little longer than usual. Contributors are kindly requested to remain patient and understanding - you will receive confirmation of your submission as soon as possible, and you will receive notice of whether or not your work has been accepted by the end of March 2012. We plan to have the in/equality issue live by the end of April - or sooner if we can manage it. 

ITCH would be nothing without the wonderful and talented community of contributors who wish to be published between its digital margins. We express our thanks again for your participation and submissions, and promise to make an inspiring magazine that will make you proud.
Thursday, 12 January 2012 12:44

ITCH seeks two interns for 2012

Wanted: ITCH Interview Intern (2012)

ITCH magazine wishes to expand its MetaText sections in the three editions planned for 2012 by including a greater number in-depth interviews with people of interest. We are seeking an intern who would take responsibility for this element of the magazine, and produce at least three interviews for each 2012 magazine (a minimum of nine interviews in total over the year). 'People of interest' could include artists, writers, academics, activists, community leaders, or social/cultural innovators working on any topic. The intern will be responsible for identifying people of interest to interview (although guidance can be provided by the editor as and when needed), contacting and communicating with the interview subject in order to set up and conduct an interview, defining the scope and subject of the interview, preparing the final transcript/dialogue for publication, and sourcing images to compliment the interview. The position will suit advanced students in media studies or journalism, or any competent person with an interest in developing a portfolio of human-interest stories and developing their interviewing and writing skills. Please note that because ITCH is a non-profit project, the intern will operate on a volunteer basis and no stipend or wages can be provided. Over the year, in total a minimum of nine interviews will be expected as deliverables - the maximum number of interviews will depend on the availability and interest of the intern. To apply, please send a brief letter of motivation and a one-page CV to the editor (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) by 31 January 2012.


Wanted: ITCH Networking Intern (2012)

ITCH magazine is currently seeking a 'Networking Intern' to assist with growing the online community of ITCH. This will involve sourcing appropriate online communities and websites through which ITCH news can be disseminated, forging exchanges and setting up link-swaps with like-minded online publications, growing the ITCH mailing list, and using forums such as Facebook and Twitter to raise awareness about the presence and value of ITCH magazine. The position will suit an advanced student in any subject who has an interest in online cultures as well as art, culture, creativity, and literature, who is adept at web-searching, is comfortable with social networking mechanisms, and meticulous about keeping a record of all the sites, links and contacts visited. Deliverables will include lists of relevant websites and contacts, and successful online exchanges and posting. Please note that because ITCH is a non-profit project, the intern will operate on a volunteer basis and no stipend or wages can be provided. This internship should be considered an opportunity to develop skills and gain experience in the creative media sector. The intern will be expected to manage their own time, and to report back regularly to the editor. To apply, please send a brief letter of motivation and a one-page CV to the editor (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) by 31 January 2012.
Thursday, 12 January 2012 12:42

Regular ITCH columnists invited

For 2012, ITCH expects to continue to attract the diverse range of submissions from writers and artists that has characterized the past nine issues of the online magazine. We would like to expand this further by placing attention on growing the 'MetaText' section of the website. This section invites 'non-fiction' pieces - broadly conceived as any form of expression that comments upon an existing work (such as in the form of a book or exhibition review, or an essay about a cultural phenomenon) or aspect of social, economic or cultural life (such as in the form of an opinion piece or essay). With this in mind, ITCH would welcome any proposals by writers (established or 'emerging') to contribute regular MetaText columns or guest editorials to the magazine. To discuss this possibility, contact the editor (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).
Thursday, 12 January 2012 12:41

Book reviews invited!

ITCH is currently seeking more book reviews for the three editions planned for 2012. We welcome any reviews of any books - newly released or already on circuit - or critical reflections on any published volume. Contributors who wish to request review copies of books from publishers in order to write about them for ITCH are welcome to contact the ITCH editor (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) to propose the review and request a letter confirming that it will be published in ITCH.
Thursday, 12 January 2012 12:27

ITCH plans three editions in 2012

ITCH magazine is pleased to announce that it plans to publish three online editions in 2012. Keeping with the approach of selecting a commonly recognized symbol as the fulcrum around which submissions are invited and curated, the first issue for 2012, ITCH e.10, will be themed ≠ (not equal to). It invites contributions in a variety of genres and media that engage in some way, no matter how laterally, with the notion of in/equality. Submissions for ITCH e.10 are currently open, and will close on 28 February 2012. The themes for ITCH e.11 and e.12 will be announced only once submissions for those issues are opened.
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