Week 6

  • Jack Van der Merwe

It is known that the African National Congress (ANC) plans to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC). This is not an easy process however as many lawyers have weighed into the idea of South Africa leaving the ICC.

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Unconventional Forms of Political Expressions

– Jack Van der Merwe

Protests, rallies, sit-ins are traditional ways people have expressed their political opinions. Times are changing however as people are starting to do some very interesting things to get there political statements across.

Graffiti is often used world-wide, one of the most notable practitioners being Banksy (who was in Time’s list of 2010’s most influential people). If you attend Rhodes University you have probably seen the graffiti written on the University’s property. Most of these have some relations to Black Power or the #blacklivesmatter that has been trending on twitter for the past few months (Also the recent protest against fees increase that has taken place).

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The Jan Smuts sign being altered after the results of the first round of name change voting was released

The reason why this is seen as unconventional is because of the reaction that it has received. Many individuals have accused the people who have written on the walls to be vandals or that they should respect the universities property as it will cost money to remove the graffiti. One student named Aviva has said that “graffiti that happened on campus with the black power and all of that might be considered vandalism because its relevance ran out quickly”. Aviva went on to say that the graffiti could be seen as an “eyesore” if not dealt with. Some students (such as Clara) have thought that the money for cleaning the graffiti could be used to improve the university. There are also many people who disagree with this notion such as Thabo believe that “Since we are all entitled to freedom of speech, then we can let our views, opinions & concerns be heard in any way possible.” The Vice-Chancellor of Rhodes also decided to keep the graffiti showing that he accepts it as a form of protest.20151022_122100

It can be said that what is probably the most unorthodox method of political expression is also one of the most common ones; the rise of social media. As of the time of writing this article Facebook has surpassed 1.19 billion users. That is one-seventh of the world’s population that can see your political statements. It is not just social media but the rise of a more internet focused society has made it much easier for your political expressions to find an audience. Almost every political party has some social media appearance and that allows the average citizen a place to express their opinions. Even something as simple as writing a comment about your opinion of the government on Facebook is a form of political expression.

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Many people view social media as a valid form of political expression such as Thabo who says “I find social media to be suitable enough to express ones political views. This can also work very well for those who cannot articulate themselves well enough in speaking.” In fact a large percentage of democrats believe that social media is incredibly useful for expressing a person’s political beliefs. It does have its faults however as Aviva puts it “what makes both of these platforms so hard is that it’s very hard to moderate so that users/artists don’t abuse them.” One prominent example of the use of social media for political expression is the Egyptian revolution. By using Facebook and Twitter the people of Egypt managed to gather a large amount of support to overthrow the Egyptian government.

Expressing one’s political views is always something that can be difficult. As anyone can see there is no ‘right’ way to express a person’s political views. That is why as a political citizen you should express your views in a way you see fit.

Week 5

  • Jack Van der Merwe

After receiving a substantial amount of praise for dealing with the Charlie Hebdo shooting the police of France are now protesting. The protests are because the French police have to operate with very few resources. They also believe that the Judiciary system is not harsh enough on criminals.

Week 4

  • Jack Van der Merwe

The ANC want the voters of the Western Cape to give them another chance. Provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs believes that since the party is reorganizing itself the voters should give ANC another chance. He states that “We also want to be hip. We want to be cool”

Week 3

  • Jack van der Merwe

The Syrian refugee crisis is currently one of the largest migrations to happen in human history since World War 2. The event is also very complicated thus some people will not understand the scope of the event. That is why this article is so important; the article gives some quick facts about the crisis and some of its history.

Week 2

  • Jack Van der Merwe

After working 23 years the cartoonist for Charlie Hebdo, Luz, has decide to finally retire. The 43-year-old cartoonist is the one who drew the controversial picture of Mohammed. After the next issue the artist will retire. On his leaving he said “If I’m leaving, it’s because it’s difficult for me to work on news. It no longer manages to interest me, in fact, this return to the normal life of a press cartoonist,”

Week One

  • Jack Van der Merwe

This video from AJ+ focuses on Kerby Jean-Raymond and how he uses fashion week to tell people that black lives matter. The young artist wants to use fashion as a way focus on police brutality and to inspire people to overcome it. An interesting note is that Kerby decided to put victims of police brutalities family members in the front row. This means that journalists would have to sit in the second and third row and if they do not like it Kerby says that they can leave.