In yesterday’s shocking act of daylight barbarism, students burnt priceless and treasured cultural objects donated to and commissioned by UCT. This heralds in a new age of stupidity driven by propagators of Media terror (who seem to always have a well-placed photographer on hand).
The fact that very few seemingly-educated students can go into a historic building, indiscriminately remove artworks and burn them will not prevent others going into the National Gallery, other cultural museums or shops, next time, and burning all art – be it made by Black or White. Why stop there? Libraries, houses, and people can also be burnt.
Maybe at this point, its advisable that UCT Alma Mata and artists whose work is in the UCT collection apply to withdrawn until UCT can bring itself to take a firm stand against these juvenile protesters and editorially-bankrupt media companies who capitalize on UCT’s inability to take a position.
If UCT can’t bring itself out of a failed textbook Neville Chamberlain Appeasement policy towards an RMF group then the conflict and abuse is bound to escalate.
Taking a logical position isn’t always bad, given Oxford University’s example whereby similar juvenile, RMF demands were mimicked in demanding that the statue of Rhodes at Oriel College should be brought down. It took two weeks for the campaign to abruptly end when the Alma Mata threatened to withdraw their support for the University.
One assumes that those academics can do the math and have a clear conviction to take care of the over “27 000 students and 4 500 staff (in) exercising their right to study and work in a safe environment” (UCT News release). It is hoped that the conviction also exists to justify the good and worthy sacrifice of many who built up UCT’s fine local and International reputation, and not to trash it so cheaply through indecision and neglect. UCT should have known that, after books, art isthe cheapest political fodder to burn.