by Frans Thoka
The inspiration to create this artwork (Meno Mašweu Mabolaya a Sega) comes from a film called Casablanca, directed by Michael Curtiz. The inspiration particularly comes from the first scene of Casablanca. From there I made a research on Casablanca- capital city of Morocco. The movie mainly talks about the capital city of Morocco, Casablanca and a transit letter. A transit letter is a type of letter that allows one to travel across the borders of a country. In essence, a transit letter works like a passport.
The composition consists of three grounds; the background, middle ground and the foreground. The background consists of abstract mountainous landscape and a building. The middle ground consists of a horse rider and a man sitting down. Lastly, the foreground consists of a crawling man and a rat-like or dog-like creature.
The artwork represents what the film is narrating. The film talks about the reign of the far-right German political party, Nazi. In the artwork, the horse rider symbolises the reigning. During that time, some Germans left their country in fear for being oppressed by the ruling party, Nazi. Adolf Hitler was the leader of the Nazi party during that time. He was against European Jews that he tortured them to death. That led to some of the German people leave their country for Morocco, Casablanca. In the film, there is a letter which allows one to travel across Europe regardless they are Jewish or not. That explains the conditions Nazi had brought upon its countrymen.
In the artwork, the lines and the building in the background relocate the viewer in Casablanca. The building represents a mosque known as Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco. Hassan II Mosque is the largest mosque in Morocco and the second largest in Africa, and the 5th largest in the world. Its minaret (tower) is the world’s tallest tower at two hundred and ten metres.
In the middle ground, the dog-like figure represents Germany as a whole. It appears like a gigantic rat which sparks a question on the viewers’ mind. Its rat-like appearance represents diseases and flees that Nazi brought to its countrymen. In other words, the figure represents people who were in concentration camps. Those people were neglected as humans by Nazi. The rat-like figure is approaching a man who is crawling and holding a bucket.
The man may represent neglected people. The man does not represent any Race or a group of people. In South Africa, there are too many homeless people. The government and the society do not care about those people. That shows how Nazism still exists in the modern society or the world. It is not that clear because the ruling party is not the German Nazi. In essence, the history repeats itself. The scrawling man is meant to provoke the viewer. The man is holding a bucket.
The bucket the man is holding holds the artist’s perception. The world carries the scars of historical events. Those events are recorded in history books and passed through generations. However, there is no change. As David Icke mentioned, “What the human race is suffering from is mass hypnosis.” The despicable thing is that if one raises the truth, he or she gets wiped off the earth. I agree with David Icke that our leaders are unbelievably sick.
Lastly, the bucket represents history. The system does not want people to know their history. Why the system never mentions the story of Leopold II of Belgium? That is the story Africans want to know and not the Nazi or Hitler one. I understand that history is meant to educate the living. However, why does history repeat itself? And what makes a “humankind” “human”?