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#IkBenKoss

Januarie 13, 2015 in Uncategorized

(The English translation follows on the Afrikaans)

ikbenkoss1

 

(Kliek hier vir verskeie ander artikels, waaronder die Charlie-seminaar op LitNet.)

Soos ’n paar miljoen ander het ek #JeSuisCharlie op Facebook en Twitter geplak.

Ek glo vas in vryheid van spraak en die vryheid van uitdrukking. Tog het ek ’n paar lastige vrae wat ek graag deel en ek het ’n metafoor wat ek hiervoor wil gebruik.

 

#GedeeldeSkuld

Jan Terlouw, ’n  Nederlandse kernfisikus, eko-vegter, politikus en skrywer, het ’n  jeugboek geskryf waarin hy gedeelde skuld aanspreek. Soos alle goeie jeugboeke, moet hierdie een ook gelees word deur intelligente volwassenes.

Die boek is Zoektocht in Katoren, en in Afrikaans is dit beskikbaar as Soektog in Katoren.

Die verhaal gaan oor ’n  jong man se reis deur sy land en sy groeiende frustrasie met die apatie van volwassenes teenoor die aaklige dinge wat hy om hom sien.

Koss pleeg dan ’n daad van terrorisme; een wat hom in enige land ter wêreld sou laat tronk toe gaan. Soos verwag, kry hy dus tronkstraf.

Dit is egter waar die boek interessant word, want skielik eis ’n klomp mense dat hulle ook gestraf wil word om Koss se vonnis te verlig.

Sou hierdie boek vandag geskryf word, sou die bevolking van Katoren geTwiet en geFacebook het: #IkBenKoss (#EkIsKoss). Deur dit te doen, sou hulle ook aanmeld vir tronkstraf, dit was nie bloot ’n golf van sagte politieke korrektheid nie.

Lees die boek as jy kan, dit is die moeite werd.

 

#EkIsCharlieBester 

Wie onthou vir Charlie Bester? Hy het tronkstraf gekies bo Nasionale Diensplig in die weermag.

 

#JeSuisCharlie

Ja, ek staan vir die vryheid van spraak. Anders sal ons gou weer sien hoe boeke en koerante en flieks en dramas verban word.

Saam met vryheid, kom daar egter ook verantwoordelikhede.

 

#EkIsVirPalestina

Oeps. Hoeveel van ons is bereid om Woollies te boikot ter die ondersteuning van Palestina?

 

#EkGaanDeurSpookvliegtuieVermoorWord

Hoeveel van ons is bereid om alle produkte uit die VSA te boikot totdat hulle ophou om mense dood te maak met hulle onbemande vliegtuie?

 

#EkIsArm

Maklik om dít te huts, maar sal ons hou daarvan om vyf persent meer belasting te betaal?

 

#EkSalFietsRy

Persvryheid in Saoedi-Arabië? Genade, dit is ‘n siek grap. Hoeveel van ons is bereid om te stem vir hoër brandstofpryse en ‘n volledige boikot van alle olieproduserende lande waar persvryheid nie toegelaat word nie? (Daar is min sulke lande.)

 

#EkRoerDiePot

Daar is steeds mense in die Gereformeerde Kerk wat nie vrouedominees wil hê nie.

Hoeveel kerke draai steeds hulle rug op gays?

Daar is steeds mense in die NG Kerk wat nog sukkel om die Belydenis van Belhar omarm. Hierdie “debat” loop al vir hoeveel dekades?

 

#TerrorismeOfUitdagend?

Daar ís ’n verskil tussen terreur en uitdagend wees, maar die lyn is dun. Die tekenaars van Charlie Hedbo was besig om hierdie grense te toets. Ek steun Charlie Hedbo se reg om die grense te toets, maar ek moet daarom, as kunstenaar, ook daarop wys dat hulle kuns dikwels na die ekstreem oorgehel het en mense kon affronteer.

Fyn, dit mag, maar waar is my verantwoordelikheid dan?

Kuns moet uitdaag, die kunstenaar móét vrae vra; die verskil tussen kitsch en kuns lê tog gewoon daarin dat kuns ons dwing om opnuut na ’n alledaagse objek te kyk.

In Jan Terlouw se jeugboek steek Koss die grens oor. Hy word ’n terroris.

Dit is maklik om die moer in te wees vir mense wat ander ouens skiet, maar doen ek as kunstenaar regtig genoeg om te keer dat mense uit moedeloosheid terroriste word?

(Moenie die ander inskrywings oor Charlie vergeet nie.)

* * *

The English Translation

#IkBenKoss

ikbenkoss2

(Click here for a variety of articles, amongst them the Charlie Seminar on LitNet.)

Like a few million others I have posted #JeSuisCharlie on Facebook and Twitter.

I firmly stand for freedom of speech and freedom of expression. Yet, I have a few niggling questions that I’d like to share and I have a metaphor upon which I’d like to hinge this conversation.

 

#CollectiveGuilt

Jan Terlouw, a Dutch nuclear-physicist, eco-warrior, politician and author, wrote a young adult book in which he addresses collective guilt. Like all good young adult books, this one should also be read by all intelligent adults.

The book is called Zoektocht in Katoren. In Afrikaans it is available as Soektog in Katoren, I am sadly not aware of an English translation.

The story is about a young man’s journey through his country and his growing frustration with the apathy of adults towards the most horrid things he encounters.

Koss then commits and act of terrorism; one that would see him going to jail in any country in the world. As expected, he gets a jail sentence. This, however, is where the book gets interesting, for suddenly a lot of people demand that they be punished with him, all in order to lighten his sentence.

Had the book been written today, the population of Katoren would have Tweeted and Facebooked: #IkBenKoss (I am Koss). By doing that, they would have had to face jail time, it would not merely be a gulf of fuzzy political correctness.

Read the book if you can, it is worth it. Demand an English translation if you cannot. It is worth it.

 

#IamCharlieBester

Who remembers Charles Bester? He chose prison, rather than going to the army.

 

#JeSuisCharlie

Yes, I am for freedom of speech. Otherwise we will soon see books and newspapers and movies and dramas banned again.

With freedom, however, comes responsibility.

 

#IamPalestinian

Oops. How many of us are willing to boycott Woollies in support of Palestine?

 

#IamAboutToBeKilledByADrone

How many of us are willing to boycott all products from the USA until they stop killing people with drones?

 

#IamPoor

Easy to hash tag it, but how about a five per cent increase in our tax?

 

#IamCycling

Press freedom in Saudi Arabia? Crumbs, that is a sick joke. How many of us are willing to vote for higher petrol prices and a complete boycott of all oil-producing countries where press freedom is not allowed? (There are very few.)

 

#IamStirring

There are still people in the Reformed Church who do not want females on the pulpit.

How many churches still turn their backs on gays?

There are still people in the Dutch Reformed Church who are struggling to embrace the Belhar Confession; and this “debate” has been running for many decades?

 

#TerrorismOrChallenge?

There is a difference between terrorism and provocation, but the line is thin. The cartoonists of Charlie Hedbo were testing these limits. I support their right to do so, but I must therefore, as an artist, also point out that their art could cause offence. That is fine, but what are my responsibilities as an artist who stands for such freedom?

I believe art should challenge us. I believe the artist should ask questions. The difference between kitsch and art is simply this: art asks one to consider a well-known object anew.

Jan Terlouw’s youth young adult book allows Koss to cross the line, he becomes a terrorist.

It is easy to be angry with people who shoot others half a world away, but do I, as an artist, do enough to prevent people from falling into such despair that they are willing to become terrorists?

(Do not forget the other entries on Charlie.)

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