Statement on the Violence Against Foreign Nationals

POSTED ON: November 30, 2011 IN Speeches & Statements, Word View

Artists for Africa, 28 May 2008

If art were to mirror our society right now, it would reflect the rainbow as a tattered farce, the African Renaissance as a bad stand-up comedy routine, the notion of ubuntu as a horror movie, and our much-admired constitution as a satire on what we have become.

Given where we have come from, with Madiba’s inaugural “never again” speech still ringing in our ears, and with the dream that we would be a beacon of humanity, dignity and tolerance, there can be little excuse for the sheer brutality in the violence wreaked against foreign nationals in the last few weeks.

At the same time, we recognise the desperate conditions in which many of our fellow citizens continue to live.  The horrific statistics of AIDS-related deaths, of victims of violent crime and of infant mortality bear testimony to a people brutalised by the genocide of neglect and dehumanised by the third force of poverty.

We call upon the many ordinary citizens who have rallied in response to the current humanitarian crisis on an unprecedented scale to translate these efforts into concerted action that will revive the non-racial project, hold accountable those responsible for delivery and help to build a truly better society for all.

We call upon our colleagues in the arts community to employ their creativity in the service of all our people, not only those who can buy our art, to speak truth to power and to continue to remind us of our dreams.

It is time for us as citizens to reassert our central role in our democracy, to reclaim ownership of our ideals and to practice our common humanity.

About Artists for Africa

Artists for Africa was launched as an informal network of artists, cultural organisations and institutions on Monday 26 May 2008 to help coordinate action by the arts and culture sector in response to the violence against foreign nationals as it reflects itself in Cape Town.

Like other citizens and organisations, numerous individual artists and arts organisations have given of their time and resources in the last few weeks.  Artists for Africa will provide a mechanism for greater collective action, to encourage the arts community to utilise its unique creativity at this time and to plan and embark on further action beyond this particular crisis.

For more information or to become part of AFA, contact any member of the committee: Andrew Lamprecht (UCT Michaelis School of Fine Art) 0724965032; Karen Jeynes (Performing Arts Network of South Africa): 0839468526; Mandla Mbothwe (Magnet Theatre and UCT Drama School): 0828268586; Kathy Coates (Iziko Museum): 0822004622; Mike van Graan (Africa Centre): 0829003349; Robert Weinek (Public Eye): 0724205193 and Dathini Mzayiya (Gugulective and Africa South Arts Initiative): Administrative support is provided by Farzanah Badsha: (Africa Centre): 0824234381.


Violence against foreign Nationals

Shame on this Black to Black violence and all the dreams of Heroes like Steve Bantu Biko are gone. I knew it was going to happen and am not surprised at all and other Afrikans have been looked down upon for a long time I must say. There is need for South Afrikans to travel to other countries and learn to accept other Afrikans as people. I know a number of Good South Afrikans and am sure there is need to educate a number of those who do not consider other Afrikans as people.

The whole system of Education need to change and educate the majority of South Afrikans about its past. A number of Afrikan countries helped South Afrika to end Brutal Regime of Apartheid. A number of the liberation movements like PAC, ANC and others stayed in Afrikan Countries as Refugees. It was good enough for us to give you food, Shelter and Support during the Brutal regime but its not good enough for us to seek refuge in the New South Afrika now.

To other Afrikans let me say there is a slogan which says, Welcome to the New South Afrika, please go back Home.