Spear to the heart

This Zuma painting debacle is becoming sickening. An artist paints a work that criticises the president and the response is outrage and an implicit insistence that the president is beyond reproach and criticism. Today two people protest the painting in a bold but non-violent protest by defacing it (and apparently ruining it) and their protest is met with violence by security which failed to prevent the defacement in the first place.

The irony is that the security guard’s response, while it’s probably what he is trained and paid to do, is a physical expression of what the ANC is trying to do in Court this week. Why didn’t the gallery take more proactive steps to protect the painting from an inevitable protest like this? This was foreseeable and there must have been ways to stop this from happening. Instead we have this violent response to a protest action where a camera just happened to be rolling (boy, that does seem a little contrived).

I certainly didn’t see the younger guy resisting the security guard or trying to evade capture. What I saw was a disproportionate response to an act that could have been avoided or certainly handled better.


What do you think?

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