Wednesday, December 1, 2010

16 Days of Activism

16 Days Activism for non violence against women and children takes place every year from the 25th November.  This is the 11th year that South Africa is taking part in this international Campaign, with the hopes that through these 16 days will lead to an elimination of all women and child abuse of any sort. The 16 Days of Activism leads to the Human Rights Day celebrated on the 10th December.

Below is an artwork of Ernest Pignon- Ernest.


  1. see the portfolio.....

  2. I salute and support this work, especially through building a healthy dialogue and awareness via art and culture. We do not have enough art, culture and ultimately respect for each other. Through organizations like Art for Humanity and their amazing work, as part of the 16 Days of Activism, I hope we can turn this around. Robin Opperman-Director- Umcebo Trust and Art for Humanity Board Member.

  3. Media reports have indicated that the photograph taken by Samuel Nzima of Hector Peterson being carried by Mbuyisa Makhubu during the Soweto uprising of 1976, may be used in a HIV/AIDS awareness campaign by Levi Strauss. It is understood that the photograph will symbolise the new struggle that South Africa is facing.
    An article featured on the JournAIDS website, ( referred to a statement made by Fikile Mbalula, ANC Youth League president published in a Sunday Times Article on June 10, opposing the idea of recycling the photograph for a new purpose, “People should not use national symbols, including the picture, for their own profit-making interests and insult our history, our moral integrity and the integrity of our struggle. If they want to be educative to the youth about HIV/AIDS, there are better ways to do that.”

  4. The photograph has inspired many, including French artist Ernest Pignon-Ernest ( who came to South Africa in 2002 and collaborated with Jan Jordaan, Art for Humanity director on a project sponsored by the French Institute.

    Pignon-Ernest created an AIDS Pietà consisting of a life-size charcoal drawing of a black woman carrying the body of a man. The drawing was inspired by the famous photograph and was reproduced and digitally printed on newsprint by Hirt and Carter. Subsequently over 100 of the large posters were installed at various locations throughout the Market and Warwick Triangle areas in Durban, as well as in Diepkloof, Soweto.

    In an interview, Pignon-Ernest explained the motivation for installing the posters in public spaces, “When we surveyed the place in Durban, the context of the taxi rank, the market, the confrontation between the very specific architecture, the penetrating highway, the large pillars, the train and the market, I realised that there were things that could accumulate and make sense.

    There was something authentic about people's life that is affected by the Aids drama. You'll agree that this image put on a wall, a smoked glass façade of some suburb in Johannesburg could not take on the same meaning as it would in Durban, or in Kliptown or Soweto.”

  5. This is such an interesting project you were involved with in 2002. I am so glad you posted the information. I have now placed it on

    it would be great if any of the students who were involved in the project would like to respond with their thoughts 8 years later.

    i am wondering if anyone in durban remembers it, and whether the impact lasted after the work was posted around the market and warwick triangle.

    i wonder what you guys think about the David Wojnarowicz work from his video "A Fire In My Belly" that was removed by the Smithsonian recently after pressure. The image that caused so much controversy was taken out of context, from the 20 minute film. you can see the film here if interested Would be great to have peoples' thoughts and ideas.

    I personally think after watching the video, David was an exceptionally compassionate man, desperately trying to raise awareness about the pain and suffering of HIV and AIDS

  6. Footnote (wikipedia): The Pietà (pl. same; Italian for pity) is a subject in Christian art depicting the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus, most often found in sculpture. As such, it is a particular form of the Lamentation of Christ, a scene from the Passion of Christ found in cycles of the Life of Christ. When Christ and the Virgin are surrounded by other figures from the New Testament, the subject is strictly called a Lamentation in English, although Pietà is often used for this as well, and is the normal term in Italian.