Mandela ‘tribute’ is advertising masquerading as art

The Guardian | Rebecca Hodes:


Huge pair of Ray-Bans on Cape Town promenade hijacks one of South Africa’s greatest national figures for corporate gain, writes Rebecca Hodes

There is a well-worn South African anecdote about a certain Mrs Cohen, who lived in a sea-facing flat on Cape Town’s Beach road during the 1970s. 

Perceiving Freedom, a sculptural tribute to former South African president Nelson Mandela on the Sea Point promenade in Cape Town, South Africa. Photograph: Nic Bothma/EPA 

Mrs Cohen was known for her frequent complaints about the view from her balcony, from which she was able to see the goings-on at Graaff’s Pool, a secluded enclave accessed via a path over the rocks, and a vestige for nude bathers. 

Graaff’s Pool had an inward view too, as a rendezvous for gay men. The pool reached the height of its popularity during the era in which the immorality act amendments made gay sex illegal. Men would tan naked, take an icy plunge, and pursue other activities that scandalised Mrs Cohen, apparently minding her own business on her balcony….


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