Another poster causes a stir

By Yazeed Kamaldien Time of article published Jan 30, 2012

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Another poster featuring two people of different colour has caused a stir – this time because the nudity it portrayed was too much for pupils at a Sea Point primary school.

The poster for the play Statements after an Arrest under the Immorality Act, written by Athol Fugard, features two nude actors in each other’s arms. The actors are Malefane Mosuhli and Bo Petersen, who are in the play’s Cape Town run.

The Fugard poster comes amid controversy around the DA Student Organisation (Daso) poster campaign that aimed to create debate around race relations.

Selim Kagee, who designed the poster for Fugard’s play, said that last Thursday they were ordered to take it down after objections by pupils at a primary school.

”I was in shock. My first reaction was that they were coming from a racist attitude. But I realised it was parents who were concerned about their children seeing the nudity,” Kagee said.

“I would be appalled if people wanted it down because of race. If you are a racist person, then this poster will offend you.”

A staff member at the Fugard Theatre, where the play is running, refused to comment on the matter, while another staffer who did not want to be quoted said the posters had to be moved further away from the school.

Kagee argued, though, that the nudity had been “tastefully done”.

The two actors are on their knees in the embrace and sit in front of the old South African flag.

“There’s a lot more nudity shown on television. If children ask questions about the poster, then it can be used to educate them about our past and how (people of) different races were not allowed to be together,” Kagee said.

He said that the old SA flag had been used because this play is “about a relationship in the apartheid era”.

“It tells the entire story as we see two people of different races embracing in the context of the old South Africa.”

Fugard’s Statements was first performed in Cape Town in 1972.

It was regarded as a direct attack on apartheid laws that prohibited inter-racial relationships.

Daso’s campaign, meanwhile, was intended to be criutical of racist views about inter-racial relationships in present-day South Africa. - Cape Times

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