our story


the adventures of Kopano, Nicola and Julia as they founded an arts organisation together, from scratch

our story


the adventures of kopano, nicola and julia as they founded an arts organisation together, from scratch

humble beginnings

ANY BODY ZINE (ABZ) is the love-child of Julia de Rosenwerth, Kopano Maroga and Nicola van Straaten. We first met at the (then) School of Dance at the University of Cape Town but it was only in 2015, when we were performing for Underground Dance Theatre, that our relationship really started to grow.

Towards the end of 2015, Nicola approached Julia and Kopano with an idea. For almost three years she had been dreaming of starting a publication about dance and movement. As an avid reader, writer and thinker who danced, she was constantly disappointed at the lack of literature about dance in southern Africa. Julia and Kopano shared her sentiments and like magic, they agreed to embark on the adventure of starting a publication together. Little did we know, ABZ would turn into so much more than publication about dance… 

In just one year we had produced six publications, not only about dance but receiving contributions of a huge variety. We had created our own website, a Facebook page and an Instagram account and were steadily growing a fan-base of both contributors and readers. In true DIY style, we taught ourselves everything from editing, layout and printing to website building, marketing and communications. (You could say ABZ has been one of the cheapest and most expansive educational experiences for us.)

Towards the beginning of 2017, Nicola relocated to Germany to study and although this cross-continental divide demanded a new way of working together, it did not stop our vision for ABZ. We Skype A LOT.

Here is ABZ in numbers: In the past 3 years we have printed over 10 publications, participated in 3 book festivals, organized and facilitated 5 performances series, 5 workshops and 1 six-week residency programme. We also managed to successfully run our first crowdfunding campaign, which enabled us to re-print all of our past issues, which are currently being sold in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Berlin.

Our vision for ABZ has gone way beyond a simple publication about dance. After three years of working, struggling, laughing and weeping together – we now strive to become a sustainable platform that can support and serve independent artists. We are artists in our own rights who are seeking to build a dynamic, ever-shifting, ever-growing home for our community of independent artists.

This is more or less the story of ABZ. If you want to find out more about our story, just email us! If you want to find out how you can support us and get involved, go here.

With much love,

Julia, Kopano and Nicola