This whole affair about Brett Murray’s painting of Zuma’s exposed genitals is, quite frankly, a load of bollocks. But it has raised a number of troublesome issues regarding freedom of expression, censorship, the right to dignity and the role of art in society.
So much has already been written about Zuma’s dangling tottie that I don’t want to rehash the whole cock and balls story. In summary, however: Yes, ‘The Spear’ and its encompassing exhibition titled ‘Hail to the Thief II’ would have hardly made a blip on the popular consciousness if the ANC had done the sensible thing by ignoring it. Yes, the ensuing shitstorm of publicity has raised Brett Murray’s profile into the stratosphere. And yes, the sudden escalation of hysteria – culminating in the painting’s unauthorised defacement – has made rational discussion impossible. Continue reading “Grow a pair, Zuma”
Has Zapiro gone too far this time? I’m not sure. His instantly infamous cartoon of Jacob Zuma about to rape the legal system is a fiercely strong statement. It’s the kind of cartoon that really kicks you in the guts. And it’s ambitious too. Instead of just lampooning Zapiro’s favourite shower-headed target, this time he’s implicated all the big political players as active participants in the rape.
Understandably, the cartoon has got a lot of people very angry. The ANC, its youth league, Cosatu and all the other organisations featured in the piece are unanimous in their condemnation of Zapiro. Of course, there has been the meaningless, knee-jerk accusation of ‘racism’, which is trotted out so often it has lost any impact whatsoever. But there are other criticisms of the cartoon which are not so easy to dismiss. Continue reading “A Zap in the Face”