Tag Archives: Brett Murray

They say critics of the ANC are racists, unpatriotic traitors

It’s ironic (but understandable, given his position as a senior government official in the department of arts and culture) that Sandile Memela’s article “They say government-sponsored artists are traitors” focuses primarily on the contribution of Wally Serote (former head of the ANC’s department of arts and culture and former chairperson of the parliamentary committee on…

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They say government-sponsored artists are traitors

I believe celebrated struggle poet and ANC veteran Mongane Wally Serote will be in a lot of trouble for saying “the white Western voice dominates discourse in this country while the African voice is muted”. He was a panellist on a Big Debate discussion about artists and whether they have sold out or have we…

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Unpacking the discourse of domination

Over this past year I have written a series of essays that attempt to deconstruct the “discourse of domination” and have provided the links to these articles in this piece. These essays were written in response to a series of racialised events that happened in South Africa in 2012 — occurrences, which I posit, are…

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On the interpretation of a painting

I did not really want to write this piece, knowing full well that it would be greeted by howls of derision and by vituperative incomprehension in many quarters. But as events unfolded in the wake of the public display, at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg, of the Brett Murray painting metaphorically titled The Spear, reaching…

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The Zuma portrait and black (male) sexuality

While delivering a keynote address at a conference focusing on Africa in the town of Swanwick in the UK Midlands on Saturday May 26 2012, I asked my audience what news coming out of my country or out of Africa they were aware of at this time. My audience was not aware of the exciting…

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The Spear: SA will not overcome fear by giving into it

Brett Murray’s defaced The Spear stands as a monument to intolerance. After thousands of ANC supporters marched to the Goodman Gallery where it had once been on display, the gallery has agreed it will not be displayed publicly again. While representations of the painting now enjoy the ubiquity of the web, what price have we…

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Do we have to ask for permission to be offended?

I have resisted writing something about the Spear saga for two weeks. This was because for me the portrait was offensive but not as offensive as the portrait about Solomon Mahlangu’s last words. The words on that portrait cut very deeply into the pain hidden deep in every black person’s heart. It made a mockery…

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Some sympathy for the editor, please

I too dislike the painting. It offends me for reasons I can’t quite fathom. I do know as satire it resembles the blow of a club more than the rapier thrust. Yet I am appalled by the Taliban-like reaction to it. Brett Murray must have an inkling of how Salman Rushdie felt. The spotlight, however,…

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The ANC’s bullying will fail to quash freedom

There has been much gnashing of teeth at the decision made by the editor of City Press, Ferial Haffajee, to remove a photo of Bretty Murray’s The Spear from the newspaper’s website. When it comes to the media, the ANC has brought all its indignant rage down on one publication – it has been useful…

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Tackling President Zuma

Not for the first time, the country was brought almost to a standstill by its president’s membrum virile. Only this time it wasn’t because the polygamous president had unsafe intercourse with the HIV positive daughter of a close friend; nor was he caught in adultery with another comrade’s daughter. It was not the revelation of…

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