South Africa: Art destroyed and censored at University of Cape Town

Protesters carry artworks to be burnt. Photo: Ashleigh Furlong

The following blog was written by Gabriel Clark-Brown, publisher and editor of the South African Art Times, owner of the South African Print Gallery in Cape Town, and graduate of the University of Cape Town with a Master’s Degree in Fine Art. The views expressed and research presented in this blog are those of the writer and not of Freemuse.

The campus of Africa’s leading university – The University of Cape Town (UCT) – has become an unsafe place for art over the past several years.

UCT publicly denies that it has censored any art.

However, a contradicting fact remains: “controversial”, “contested”, or “contentious” art continues to be hidden from view after a year and half because “some members of the campus community have identified certain works of art as offensive to them – for cultural, religious or political reasons”.

Thus, UCT has failed to uphold the moral rights of the artists represented in its collections, as well as the rights of freedom of expression and artistic creativity that are enshrined in the South African Constitution.

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