Ill-mannered and Racist Artistic Freedom of Expression
The Young Communist League of South Africa [uFasimba] in the Western Cape is extremely disturbed and outraged by the distasteful and indecent manner in which Brett Murray and the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg is displaying the person of Comrade President Jacob Zuma. It is our view that the continued display and exhibition of this so-called portrait will continue to be an affront to the dignity and the privacy of President Zuma in all his capacities but also as a South African whose right to human dignity and privacy is protected and guaranteed by the South African Constitution. This portrait shows utter disrespect for the President as the first citizen of this country.
The YCL welcomes artistic creativity after all, it was the ANC led Alliance which fought for the right to freedom of expression during the struggle and during the subsequent negotiations for our freedom. But when such creativity seeks to dehumanize and humiliate the individuals, it has no place in our society. YCL believes that this inventive exposes latent racism which reduces black people to mere commodities as was the case during apartheid.
It is the ANC led Alliance which called for national reconciliation and the building of social cohesion in our society. Yet there are attacks daily on our democracy by those who seem to forget the goodwill which was bestowed upon them by the majority of the people of this country. The painting not only tarnishes the image of the Office of the Presidency but lays bare the deep divisions within our society which acts such as the painting do nothing to heal.
Issued by YCLSA Western Cape
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