‘Banned’ is a work in progress which is comprised of fragments of footage appropriated from movies which were banned in South Africa during apartheid.
My practice is concerned with power and history and how these elements can reveal the nature of those in control. Just like the social engineering implemented through the constructed segregated landscape of apartheid, control of information also stretched into psychological segregation, the mind construct of the ‘other’.
My interest lies in not only why these movies where banned in South Africa in the first place, but more importantly, I wish to reflect on the mentality of those who implemented censorship in South Africa.
Reflecting on the ideologies of the architects of apartheid, who's psychology was rooted in the idea of the 'other', of control, fear and power, this simple act of censorship reveals how reality was altered to implement control and thereby aid the white apartheid governments policy of segregation.
UPDATE: During the first screening, as part of the Boda Boda Lounge Transcontinental video project, this work was censored in Zimbabwe and almost not screened in Uganda because of perceived homosexual content which is illegal under law in both countries.
The publication of this event and my response can be viewed here.
Single Channel Video
© 2015 Vincent Bezuidenhout
During apartheid (1948 -1994) in South Africa the white government had full control of the media which they used to not only promote hatred between racial groups but also manipulate the minority white population by portraying the black majority black population as a threat and inferior to them.
Banned is a work in progress which comprises fragments of footage appropriated from movies which were banned in South Africa during apartheid. My interest lies in not only why these movies where banned in South Africa in the first place, but more importantly, I wish to reflect on the mentality of those who implemented censorship in South Africa.
This work was first screened as part of the First Biennale of the Boda Boda Lounge Project, a cross-continental video art project hosted by 15 arts organisations across the African continent.
In two of the participating countries namely Uganda and Zimbabwe, both of which have stringent anti homosexual laws, there were issues around some of the content of the work. This led to the work being censored outright in Zimbabwe and eventually shown in Uganda despite tensions around this decision.
As part of the Boda Boda Lounge project publication I wrote a response to this incident in a section called On Censorship, accompanied by essays from Alex Lyons and Mthabisi Phili. The publication also features contributions by Portia Malatjie, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Euridice Kala, Jude Anogwih, Ezra Hube, Erick Musimanje, Molemo Moiloa, Shehab Awad, Elizabeth Giorgis and Patrick Mudekereza.
The complete publication can be found here.