News Brief

South African “Fuck White People” Artwork Declared Not Racist By Magistrate

Magistrate Daniel Thulare, in his ruling on the case, declared the artwork as neither racist nor hate speech.

SOUTH AFRICA–Earlier this year, the Cape Party laid charges against the Cape Town-based Iziko South African National Gallery for an artwork titled “Fuck White People.” On Tuesday, Magistrate Daniel Thulare, in his ruling on the case, declared the artwork as neither racist nor hate speech.


The artwork, which was created by Dean Hutton, a Masters student in fine art at the University of Cape Town, has been on display at the gallery since 2016 as part of an exhibition called The Art of Disruptions.

According to TimesLIVE Thulare found that the words “white” and “people” were not directed at all whites‚ but rather to a system of oppression inherent in “white domination,” therefore the display could not be seen as discrimination against all white people‚ he said.

The Mail & Guardian reported that Thulare criticized reactionaries to Hutton’s work with a “pity-me-I’m-a-victim attitude” which sought to suppress views like Hutton’s.

“If there is one thing that the work has achieved, through this complaint and others to which my attention has been drawn if this matter, is to draw South Africans to a moment of self-reflection, if we are serious about building one nation, one collective with the same values and agreed principles,” the paper quoted Thulare to have said.

“Today‚ ‘Fuck White People’ is art. Where is this country going?” asked Cape Party leader Jack Miller, who made reference to how the government under the late ex-president of South Africa promoted a vision of the Rainbow Nation.

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.