Akona Kenqu 0131

Pitika Ntuli - Gaza: Lest We Forget, 2015

Pitika Ntuli (1942-)
Gaza: Lest We Forget (2015)
Hyena, zebra, springbok and kudu bones / 1560 x 2570 x 1520 mm
CCAC #0438

On loan from the artist and Antoinette Ntuli

The world has seen too many massacres. Black South Africans - young and old, male and female, but almost always poor - died under the brutality of the colonial and apartheid regimes. After a massacre in Gaza, the artist created this sculpture in remembrance of the brutal killing of people across the world. The bones, from animals who died of natural causes, are totems of those who have died during conflict or war. The carving of some bones symbolises those whose bodies are identifiable after a massacre. The clean bones represent those left unidentifiable, depriving their loved ones the closure of a funeral. Partial carving on some bones signifies the unfulfilled potential of lives cut short.

The artist wrote an accompanying poem to this work:

Gaza: Lest We Forget
Rwanda, Serbia, Iraq, Biafra, Sharpeville, Columbine

On and on and on and on
Like you we have bled where no wounds were seen
We rose against the nocturnal beasts
Who glory in death
We slipped on bars of soap in our prison cells
Drowned in basins in our prison cells
Hunted across borders
Betrayed by our own
Supported by cousins of those who kill us
We have seen strange things in our times
Now we ride on a crest of a wave of freedom in our land
You too will ride your wave
If we stand together
Compare our wounds our pains, our defiances, our dreams our love for freedom and peace
You too will live to sing new songs of freedom / In Your Land!!!

Photograph by Akona Kenqu

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