FRANCOIS DE BRUYN AND SUSANNA ANBU
The UP&Out society started its Pride Week line-up of events with the painting of a mural in memory of the lives lost in the fight for equality. The unveiling of the wall painting was the first of many events for Pride Week 2019. Members of the UP&Out society mention that although we are in the 21st century, the LGBTQ+ community still faces discrimination. The UP&Out society hopes that events like Pride Week will help UP students garner an awareness and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community.
According to Ash Ludike, Secretary of the UP&Out Society, the painting is in remembrance of people who fought and died for the democratic freedoms most of us take for granted. Ludike was responsible for formulating the design of the mural, which included a large pink triangle with a rainbow walkway.
“…although we are in the 21st century, the LGBTQ+ community still faces discrimination.”
The different colours of the rainbow walkway symbolise lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) pride and LGBTQ+ social movements. The pink triangle had its origins in Nazi Germany where, historically, gay men were forced to wear an inverted pink Nazi triangle on their overalls to mark them for persecution and dehumanization. However, during Germany’s post-war era, the nation’s first gay rights organization, Homosexuality Aktion Westberlin (HAW), reclaimed the pink triangle and turned the inverted triangle right side up as an epitome of emancipation. The pink triangle has, therefore, become a continued reminder of a violent piece of LGBTQ+ history.
The mural draws inspiration from a monument unveiled during 1987 in Amsterdam that represents the historical fight for LGBTQ+ equality as well as solidarity. When one looks at the mural, Cara van Niekerk – Chairperson of UP&Out – hopes that viewers will remember the origins of pride as a tool for peaceful protest.
Photograph by: Tshepang Rihlampfu