Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

19 August 2014

South Africa: Marikana - Where Art Thou?

analysis

Two years after the Marikana massacre, artists have been interpreting the event and asking what it means for the country. GREG NICOLSON looks at some of the work out there and asks where all the mainstream musicians are at.

"It was self-protection" - Police.

"It was the Police" - Union.

"It was the strikers" - Lonmin.

Nothing, said the dead miners.

36 Shot Salute - Afurakan T Mohare

Thabiso Mohare, known as Afurakan, wrote this poem in the days after the Marikana massacre. He noticed different parties were apportioning blame but the key issue - what the miners were asking for - was being forgotten. The dead will never be heard and their demands are drowned out by politics and press agents. "Whether it's criticising, praising, reflecting or just reconstructing what happened, as an artist, as a poet, it's your duty to respond because if it has touched you personally, if it has invoked some sort of reaction, an emotional reaction, out of you then it's important you put it into words," says Mohare.

Two years after the killings, artists have looked at the issue in different ways. Mohare's poem is featured in a collection of essays, articles and poetry...

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