Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


The political correctness of art

19 May 2014, 15:55Obidike Okafor

Dakar- Art speaks in political tones sometimes, aside its aesthetics, and  this was brought to fore during, the presentation of Mirjam Westen, a curator of the Museum Arnhem in the Netherlands at the round table sessions.

In her presentation titled “Arts and politics”, the curator said that as a curator and writer, she always looks for ways to address and investigate problematic issues in society through her engagement at the museum.

Throughout her presentation she gave examples of artists whose works made political statements that have drawn the attention of governments, and challenged certain political and societal beliefs.

Tracing a map across continents, Westen starts from South America, and talks about Regina Galindo’s performance work titled Who Can Erase the Traces made in 2003, in which she walked to the Presidential palace in Guatemala, dipping her bare feet at intervals in a white basin full of human blood to protest presidential candidacy of Guatemala’s former dictator José Efraín Ríos Montt.

In March 2008,  to protest, against the “booming” industry of private prisons used by private citizens to hold illegal immigrants into the United States by private citizens, Regina  Galindo, her husband and two year old daughter were locked up in a mobile prison for 36 hours at the Art Pace gallery in San Antonio Texas, in a performance titled America’s Family Prison.

Westen then moves to the orient, and Chinese artist, Ai WeiWei, who was jailed by the Chinese government for using his performances to expose corruption in his country, before heading to South Africa to talk about the photography and videos of Zanele Muholi, a lesbian, whose body of pictures, titled  Faces and Phases address the way black lesbians are raped in  South African townships and surrounding areas by friends, neighbors’ and sometimes even family members to cure their homosexuality, while using this to expose the fact that there is  no anti-hate-crime legislation in South Africa.

Westen then retraces her steps to Europe, where she talks about a Russian collective called Chto Delat which means “What is to be done?”

The collective consists of  artists, critics, philosophers and writers, who combine art with political theory and activism.

Still staying in Europe she, ended her talk with Rory Pilgrim’s  Love in Uganda  a performance and installation centered around a piece of music, against the anti-Homosexuality bill in Uganda.

In February 2010, Anglican cathedrals around the world were asked to play the music during their services, in which  a  community sheet of telephone numbers of those with relevance to the bill, including the mobile number of Uganda’s president.

Uganda passed the bill in February 2014, but according to Westen, the significance of arts in politics can never be taken for granted, and cannot be ignored.


For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...