Robyn Sassen is an independent critic of the arts. She holds degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of South Africa, and teaching credentials at a range of tertiary institutions in South Africa. She’s been in love with the arts — and majored in etching at university — ever since she’s been alive. But her status as a critic grew out of 16 years experience in the newspaper industry — as an arts editor, a generalist journalist, a freelance writer and a copy editor … in that order. Her belief in the value of independent arts criticism has been grown by her association with Cue newspaper in 2006-2010 and her voracious hunger to see and read as much as is humanly possible.

Geoff Sifrin is a seasoned editor, journalist and columnist. He was editor for 16 years of the SA Jewish Report, and holds degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand, the University of Cape Town and North Carolina State University. A Fulbright Scholar in 1986, he has broad interests in the arts and politics. His own blog may be accessed here.

Gillian Rennie writes creative nonfiction for a PhD at the University of the Western Cape and teaches Writing and Editing at Rhodes University’s Journalism School where she was editor of Cue newspaper for a long time. Some of her poems have appeared in some of South Africa’s journals and anthologies. Outside of a pandemic, she teaches yoga. Inside of a pandemic, she has happy cats.

Elizhan Duvenage, Henrico Greyling, Huibrecht de Hart, Isabeau Joubert, Kayla Muller, Matthew van der Walt, Keabetswe Huma, Olga-Louise Lemmer, Shanel Schoombee and Themba Nhlapo are first year Fine Arts students at the University of Pretoria. They are part of the VIT 101 class, being taught the rudiments of arts writing by Robyn Sassen during 2020.


5 replies »

  1. Hello Robyn,
    I would like to get in touch with you on behalf of my research about the Cramer-family in South Africa, formerly living in Germany. I read your report from 2013 about then 103 years old Erna Cramer (found it today!) and wonder if you could help me in finding her descendants. Any helpful advice is highly recommended. Thank you in advance.
    Gaby (Germany)

    • Hello, Gaby. I have only seen this message now. Unfortunately I am no longer with the paper in which I wrote the story on Erna. Please can you email me on robynsassen@gmail.com and I will see what I can do.

  2. Hi Robyn

    I am the daughter of John W Fredericks and have just come across a tribute written in 2020 for my dad. The author was Matthew Van Der Watt. I would be really appreciate if you could put me in contact with him to thank him personally for such a beautiful tribute. Many thanks

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