Fighting for Freedom
Streicher, Christina M.
Format Extent1 artwork
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Copyright Stellenbosch University
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Description of Artwork Mlungisi Griffiths Mxenge was a member of the African National Congress from the mid-1950s. He obtained an LLB degree and became a well-known civil rights lawyer who defended victims of the apartheid regime though his law firm. His passion for fighting for justice caught the attention of the government which in response sent its secret Death Squad to assassinate him in 1981. Following his death, his wife, Victoria Nomyamezelo Mxenge, who also held a law degree, chose to continue his work in the fight for justice. She played a prominent role as a human rights lawyer and political activist. Like her husband before her, she was murdered: in her driveway in 1985, just after she stated at a funeral that she was “willing to die for Africa”. In our print we have chosen to incorporate both their faces – almost connected, but they will never truly be together again. They appear almost as ghost figures superimposed on Africa, as their goal was to fight for the freedom of South Africa. Even though both of them were murdered, their goal has finally been achieved. The barbed wire wrapped around Africa starts to unwind and a hand rises up to grab it, showing that the people of South Africa has overcome the apartheid regime. It is also a reference to the saying used by the African National Congress, Amandla, awethu, which means ‘power to the people‘. In the center of the composition, a gavel is about to strike a sound block while members of the Death Squad try to escape. This is a reference to justice being served and the people of South Africa having been avenged.
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