Recently in the media, people were photo’d vandalizing art owned by the University of Cape Town.
The photo scene is oddly satirical as it seems to celebrate anarchy. Youngsters who as yet, have made no meaningful contribution to society, stole artwork and then set the artwork aflame.
Ironically, given the opportunity it is doubtful that those liable for the chaos could reproduce the artwork or generate such beauty with their own hands.
History is filled with tragedies and tribulations that some want to forget. The point is, why do we want to forget? By burning effigies of the past, what do we hope to achieve, how does the burning of artwork benefit this generation? Can art be neutral or must it be considered colonial etc. How does a landscape or self-portrait become interpreted as colonial, if that is the point of dispute? Is it possible that by remembering ill-fated events, future generation can assist in prevent suffering?
Since history itself cannot be burnt or destroyed, who gets to decide what aspects of our colonial and Apartheid art history is unworthy? Also is there an imperative to learn from the mistakes and rectifying behavior to ensure a better future for all. Is our task to be better than those before us so that later generation may value our input or do they burn in there time what we have or will create.
Nothing can be achieved with the ruin of property and artwork etc. Ask the historians in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere how the ruin of their historical sites had benefited them.
In the words of the wise, every journey starts with an initial step. Celebrating anarchy in any form has no value for future generations. Anarchists feed off anger which only generates more hate.
South Africa has seen enough hate and we do not need anymore.
Cllr Yagyah Adams
Cape Muslim Congress