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Artists Statement on Marikana, by the Underground Citizens collective

Artists Statement on Marikana, by the Underground Citizens collective

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Artist statement


More than 20 years into democracy, the struggle for the realisation of the worker’s economic aspirations continues. 2012, Marikana, the battle lines were clearly drawn when the downtrodden miners took up cudgels to advance their cause for total emancipation from the shackles of poverty.

A class struggle pitted a multi-billion corporation run by greedy capitalists against the marginalised, the minimally paid ‘underground citizens’ driven by the need to survive. As the chasm between the haves and the have-nots widens the pockets of the elite, petite bourgeoisie deepen in direct proportion to the everyday struggle just to survive of those that toil for a meagre income.

Slaves to a profit driven system that has little to no regard for the man on the street, the needs of the layman , the underground citizen , digging through earth or dustbin just to live another day. This exhibition seeks to bring to light the plight of these simpletons, these workers whose wages are thinly spread to uphold their families. Using art, images, words, colours, shapes and sculptors what is meant to be mirrored here is the reality that not all of the republic’s children are freedom. For what is freedom if it does not include economic freedom?

What this body of work intends to address is the pressing need for all sectors of society to work as a collective in alleviating poverty. Class differences should be set aside and all should mobilise under the banner for the economic liberation of all, which must be recognised as a basic human right. The objective of this event is not to collect proceeds for charity, it is not meant to amass sums of money for a handout, it is meant to bring together those economically polarised around one table and start a conversation around the weeding out greed and the abolishing of class. ‘Underground citizens’ should be afforded the opportunity to fulfil their desires to attain their economic dreams and the freedom to enjoy a sizeable share of the wealth our republic has to offer.

This exhibition is plea to the human conscience to not only express sympathy through a generous donation but also to take a pledge to actively be part of the struggle to bring to surface, the surface where all opportunities lie scattered like manna from the heavens ‘the underground citizens’ who endure discrimination, exploitation and suffering from month end with no end in sight.