Added: Dariel Pedersen - Date: 17.10.2021 06:44 - Views: 26819 - Clicks: 649
On Monday, a woman walked towards the giant Mandela statue at Nelson Mandela square in Sandton, Johannesburg, and stripped naked until security guard came to remove her as demonstrated in the cellphone images that were captured and distributed on social media by bystanders. It is not clear who this woman is or why she did it but somebody on Twitter called her Braveheart and I must agree, there is something beautifully valiant in her statement. This type of thinking, not unlike some news reports that have insinuated that she is mentally unstable, is perhaps the type of thinking that Mystery Braveheart seeks to challenge about who we have become as a society.
A black African female body — something usually under duress in South Africa, constantly cleaning, carrying and wiping; the perpetual provider — caring, mothering, fathering, paying, praying; and always the recipient of various brands of a frightening South African masculinity — pursued, abused, sexualized and caressed in varying degrees of love and hate. This black African female body willfully walks to the towering figure of Nelson Mandela and disrobes. As visible as he is, presiding over an erect symbol of capital, she becomes visible. In my eyes, the statement transcends her beautiful physical attributes, and becomes an embodiment of how many of us feel.
In a world where nudity has become the smut that sells product and personality, hers is a pure human body, one that allows more people to see themselves in her shapely hips and breasts that look back at you. That we are unsure of the context of this act is in and of itself, pure. She may be mentally unstable, would that be surprising? That she chose the powerful and now in his absence, changing image of Mandela is telling.
The Mandela who placed the responsibility of morality into the hands of black South Africans, when immorality had ruled over them for 46 years, the Mandela who forgave the people but did not put on trial, the system that put him on trial, the Mandela who promised to not dislocate public life so that places like Sandton could continue being Sandton, unfortunately maintaining Alexandria as its unchanged appendage — that Mandela may be the one she is begging to, asking from and questioning.
She claims this space in response to the noise that pervades all available public space, especially in Sandton, all the noise that has facilitated the idea that nothing happened. Everything is okay. Her nudity wakes us up, either in protest or solidarity to the fact that everything is not okay.
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The naked woman and the Nelson Mandela statue