Zapiro in Hot Water

Posted by guardian angel
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on Friday, 06 July 2012
in General Blogs

Zapiro was tackled by the ANC Women's League, who condemned his recent cartoon of an erect penis, with a face, legs, a showerhead on its head looking at itself in a mirror.  Headed "The Spear to be raised at Social Cohesion Summit", he also included a poem which refers to Zuma

I have to say that despite the fact that Zuma is miles from the role model president, there are definitely limits to which people should be allowed to go.  Simply put, irrespective of ones perceptions or feelings towards another, moreso towards the president of the country, the man is still a human being and deserves dignity.

Despite the issues that surround politiciansor presidents/prime misters world wide, especially when they become topical, due to the nature of the act, nothing is said or done in a similar vain - i do stand to be corrected though.  Zapiro gets his kicks from sensationalising something in its crudest form, and this he does in the name of "freedom of expression". 

While the intention of cartoons are there to portray the light sidedness of the polical arena, and i think nobody would disagree with this, and in this sense it would be quite acceptable to the public to view this as such,but when one brings in such offensive and lewd drawings to make a point, this sort of character bashing goes beyond just a disagreement or politics

Freedom of Expression is something that should be done in a manner that does not affect and offend others.  I stand to be corrected, but i have not seen such obscene cartoons about a sitting president and i can only wonder what the international communities thoughts are on South Africa, its people and the lack of respect for the sitting president as well as the lack of unity in preventing something this sordid.

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Richter
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Richter Friday, 06 July 2012

So, you've really looked?

Hear you...even understand where you are coming from...yet, have to ask, have you actually done an internet search for how the media in other countries depict their high-placed 'public' figures - specifically their presidents...do, and laugh aloud at it all, or be drawn into it, stay 'objective' so you can report the facts you find, (including the content of streams and comments-strings)...internationally, politicians and 'public' figures feed satire...and...have a look at what other satirical cartoonists are doing...just saying...did it myself and I read and smile.
Enjoy the way you write your point, had to keep reading so I could reply. Thanks for communicating.

guardian angel
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guardian angel Friday, 06 July 2012

too much freedom

Hi Richter, it is not the sattire i am questioning or the "laugh out loud" factor. I am questioning the depiction of anybody where there is so much lewdness (eg as a penis). it is undignified. The Zuma sattire with the shower on his head is amusing and considering how he created such a perception is laughable. But to draw him, using genitals to get a message across because of his dissatisfaction of the artwork (which quite honestly he needs to sue the pants off of the artist), is crossing the line from freedom of expression to the violation of those freedoms, for example walking into a courtroom and speaking abusively to the judge and when he holds you in contempt you then invoke your "freedom of expression" rights. Trust me, you wont get that one right. And then there is the aspect of social responsibility for example no grown man would walk naked around his mother invoking freedom of expression. Some might say yes (possibly the nudists), but then their numbers are negligible. Once again while i take your point, the point i am trying to make is not one against freedom of expression but rather the responsibility of those freedoms. In the end the way you handle that responsibility is what defines your own dignity

Richter
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Richter Monday, 09 July 2012

too much...compared to?

...yet, have to ask, have you actually done an internet search for how the media in other countries depict their high-placed 'public' figures - specifically their presidents...

Muscadecipio
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Muscadecipio Friday, 06 July 2012

But is it art?

Hey guardian angel.

Wiki tells us that "Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement"

I can't improve on this definition much. Neither Murray or Zapiro were trying to be funny, thats incidental. What is sad is that I doubt Mr Pres. gets the point. Neither Zapiro nor Brett Murray made him the joke - he did it all on his own. What they did was satirized what was already there. Perhaps the lewdness is also incidental,just a mirror to whatever is already there. After all, way back after the showerhead incident, the 3rd Mrs Zuma and the "Rape of Justice" he didn't get the point. He just kept trucking.

As far as "freedom of expression" goes I'm not sure Zapiro sees it quiet like that. In fact I think he has deliberatedly taken it further than that exactly because the debate it sparks may bring change.After all, being "unlewed" hasn't worked. It could be that this ends up for a court to decide, and maybe Zapiro is the cartoonist equivalent of the guy who throws himself on a grenade to save his buddies.

guardian angel
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guardian angel Friday, 06 July 2012

Not incidental

Muscadecipio....i didnt need an explanation or a definition of sattire. whether it is good or bad sattire is also not the point. While adultry in itself in this country is common-place and accepted, the president is also not free from this vice. However the point that Zapiro is making is not to highlight the immoral act, but it is to lower the presidents dignity and I have to disagree that Zapiros usage of cartoons is not intended to be funny, and the humour in it is merely incidental. His intention is to make a point while making it humourous but the point as well as the humour is intended and not incidental. It is like a couple having sex in public and the publics disgust is merely incidental. We would be kidding ourselves if we believed it was incidental. To portray such cartoons in public media which is also read by children, like my 12 year old who is encouraged to read newspaper - would this then also be incidental disgust. The point he was trying to portray in this cartoon in fact misses the point as the usage of words and visuals was demeaning and degrading to the person. Rather than highlighting the persons vices as you claim the cartoon is intending to do, it does the opposite and it is not surprising that it could head to court. Zapiro fails to understand that Zuma, besides being a president is also a father and grandfather.
One can only imagine what Zapiro would have drawn if we had American president Clinton as our president and for those with sons and daughters, how would they have explained a cartoon of such nature. What you are also doing is turning Zapiro into a hero (mind the pun) and maybe, just maybe Zapiro should throw himself on a grenade and save the disunity of the country....could work!!!

guardian angel
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guardian angel Friday, 06 July 2012

Cartoon definition

Just an update on your Wiki definition : yours was for sattire, mine is specific to cartoons, specifically cartoons in media and newspapers which is the media that Zapiro targets :

"A cartoon is a form of two-dimensional illustrated visual art. While the specific definition has changed over time, modern usage refers to a typically non-realistic or semi-realistic drawing or painting intended for satire, caricature, or humor, or to the artistic style of such works. An artist who creates cartoons is called a cartoonist.[1]

The term originated in the Middle Ages and first described a preparatory drawing for a piece of art, such as a painting, fresco, tapestry, or stained glass window. In the 19th century, it came to refer to humorous illustrations in magazines and newspapers, and in the early 20th century and onward it referred to comic strips and animated films".

Jawellnofine
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Jawellnofine Saturday, 07 July 2012

Lost the Plot

Personally I agree with GAs sentiments.

Hiding behind 'freedom of speech' and 'public interest' euphemisms does not cut it either. Like LEADSA pleads: Know your rights and your responsibilities as well.

Having the right to do something does not automaticaly mean that one should do it.

futuresoul
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futuresoul Monday, 09 July 2012

What?!

Guardian Angel : I get your point and you are probably right. Zapiro's cartoon was a bit extreme. I ask myself : What is freedom of speech? What are its limitations?

I am an artist and expressionist and I refuse to be limited to societal boundries. The reason I don't want to be a celebrity or person who has constant media attention is that people think they own you when you get to that point.

And whether you're doing a great/ lousy job people will have opinions. It's natural.

I say go Zapiro go! Well done! He behaves like an idiot, then we will address him as an idiot. I don't wanna spoil my morning with vile language but the man deserves every inch of what he is getting.

I love Zapiro cartoons not only because they're funny but because he is brave enough to step on platforms where others dare not.

The man is a public profile , so what? Who elected him? How did he even get to where he is? What is he doing about his profile? Are you actually going to sit there and tell me that the man has actualy done anything for you or this country for that matter, except sneaking his hand on the provebial cookie jar?

C'mon. Let's be realistic here, the only reason that he is in power is his skin colour and his political influence. Look at the ideologies of Mandela and Mbeki. Those are the men that catered to the needs of our communites : built schools and upgraded infrastructure.

I know for a fact that most black people are afraid of electing a white person into power because of apartheid but the man is joke, and I say that for lack of finding a better word.

He wants privacy and dignity? Let him go home and let the freedom of speech reign!

Ryc0v
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Ryc0v Monday, 09 July 2012

...

Public figures have a responsibility to be beyond reproach so that they can maintain the respect of their constituents.

To have Dignity, one must be dignified.

Overseas, politicians have resigned for far less than being accused of rape/adultery.

A UK politican resigned last year for taking a friend with him on business trips a few times...

You really need to be above and beyond reproach to be a successful leader and public figure, and frankly I'm just not convinced that the ANC can deliver that in the near future anymore.

(We won't start on Malema, either). :P

Shiraz
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Shiraz Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Showerhead is a dick!

Freedom of speech knows NO BOUNDS! i feel Zapiro is the greatest! I support his cartoons of our Banana Republic and the cronies now abusing power. Yes , I feel strongly, but then I am controversial, we fought for freedom, NOW we fight for education of the masses. Nothing should shock us. I suppose the cartoon is one way of enforcing the imagery of Showerhead being a dick!!!

Jawellnofine
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Jawellnofine Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Responsible freedom of speech knows no boundaries

The operative word here is responsible.

If I go around calling you names or teasing your person, you are going to get annoyed/cross with me. Thus I have to use my freedom of speech responsibly.

The are consequences to any act.

Irresponsible actions are counter to the work being done in engineering a more kinder gentler society.

guardian angel
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guardian angel Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Respect

Look, i have to agree that Zuma is furtherest from the type of role model SA needs at the moment and he is not somebody i would look to as a moral compass. I hear all of your comments, much of which is fact in terms of Zuma's behaviour. However this is not the point i am trying to make. One fails to realise that he is not only a president, but he is also a husband, a father, a grandfather, etc and to portray him, in cartoon, as he was, is crossing the line. Accepting this type of portrayal does not bode well for our own characters, despite the fact that i too believe in freedom of expression. However allowing ourselves to overstep the mark, accept and wallow in such a crude & despicable representation of another human being - one can only question our own moral stand. In other words what right do we have to criticize another human being, in that manner, when our own representation of moral behaviour is questionable and skewed in itself. Zapiro quite honestly is brilliant as an artist, but using sordid cartoons in order to portray anybody, cheapens the great work he does. One does not have to lower standards in order to gain recognition.

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