Monday, May 9, 2011

King George VI

I had a piece published in The Herald, Port Elizabeth, back in about 2001 protesting at the planned change of the name of the King George VI Art Gallery to the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum. My concern was that the move amounted to destroying history. It came as the ANC has sought to change various colonial names. A tentative compromise has been reached in this area, with Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and Despatch incorporated in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro. Then I saw the film, The King's Speech, and thought I'd have another bite at this apple. This was the result.

My article, published in the Weekend Post, on March 3, 2011. Click on it to read it full-size.

Then came some follow-up letters and SMS, which are always interesting to see. Often, sadly, my "supporters" add a racist dimension I never intended. Will black Africans ever accept that, for all its failings, colonialism was a necessary step in this country's development?

Some more SMS responses from the following week (not the bottom one, which is about another issue).

Two more, from March 26, which means the issue kept going for three weeks.