YCLSA utterly disgusted at the distasteful photo of the President
18 May 2012
The Young Communist League of South Africa [uFasimba] is utterly disgusted by the portrayal of the State President in a distasteful manner by Brett Murray of the Goodman Gallery. In the photo the President is seen in a pose made famously by Vladmir Lenin with his private parts showing.
As much as we support both freedom of expression and the right of artists to express themselves freely we also strongly feel that art should not be used to obliterate the dignity of others. We totally dismiss the lame reason that this photo is meant to stimulate debate. How do you stimulate debate when you tarnish the image of others? What kind of debate is this that seeks to be debated by humiliating the state president by showing his genitals? This is a purely inhumane conception of debate and should never be allowed to flourish disregarding who might be the target of that art.
There is a thin line in freedom of expression and artist must be able to express themselves without producing work that is morally poor. As the YCL we feel that is an abuse of freedom of expression aimed at further portraying our state president as someone who lacks morals. We see this photo as nothing but an attempt by the Goodman Gallery to encroach the dignity of the State President through liberal art that is objectionable.
We note the refusal by the Goodman Gallery to remove the photo after pleas from the African National Congress [ANC]; and as the YCLSA we support the decision by the ANC to take legal action against them and will further lobby other members of society to understand that there is a reason why there is a limitation clause in the Constitution especially when in exercise of rights others encroach on others’ rights and hide under freedom of expression.
Issued by the YCLSA
Mangaliso Stalin Khonza
083 617 5546
011 339 3621