by Christie van Zyl
What if a non-discriminatory love was re-instated as the only mantra of Love?
What if all forms of love were celebrated with no incidents of hate processing them before they are allowed to exist freely?
What if we stopped placing love in vacuums, blenders or boxes; because the outcome is always disastrous?
South African based Art activist and photographer Zanele Muholi has recently released a series titled ‘The ZaVa series 2013’ portraying her celebration of love between her and France based Valerie Thomas, her lover. In a recent photo article on Inkanyiso.org, titled ‘The Artivist and the Doctor’, Zanele explores a lover’s conversation happening between two women that are from different countries, different professions; different races and are involved in a long distance relationship across the world. In collaboration with Valerie, Zanele is pounding away at the negative stereotypes portrayed across the media of same sex and love relationships. ‘A celebration of love with no third party interference’ she says as she explains that people will think that the photographs were taken by a third party. She is reclaiming her body as hers in a private space with no media consumptive interference – self love. She asks,
“What if all the professions of the world were to explore same sex love in a positive manner, not this ‘another dead lesbian’ stereotype?” – Zanele Muholi
On the 24th of October 2014 South African musician Toya Delazy’s video ‘Forbidden Fruit’ was published on YouTube, which was also her celebration of all forms of love as a natural part of humanity. Toya explores the concept of forbidden forms of love being represented by exotic fruits, represented by real couples of both heterosexual and homosexual nature; kissing in her music video as well lyrical confessions exploring her enjoyment of apparent foreign-to-appreciation kinds of love.
“Oh oh, is this what I’ve been kept from, caught between hell and heaven.
I’m feeling joy and freedom.
There is no need to feel captured, I like the guilty pleasures.
I like to play it clever, it’s not time to surrender.
Now or never…
What should I do, what should I, should I do?
I’m cut in two.
I love Forbidden Fruits” – Toya Delazy
The director of Toya’s music video Kyle Lewis decided on using real couples that are kissing in moments of serious intimacy and intensity in the video. This in itself being is a bold statement and had the anti-gay politics in South Africa in quite a stir.
Here we see the meeting of an intergenerational conversation between four professions merging to form a formidable force of fucking fantastic praises of love.
Zanele Muholi in her early forties has dedicated her photography to black and white images of salutation to the existence of same sex love and its enchanting vibrancy.
Toya Delazy in her mid twenties has taken a bold stand too and is using her music to highlight the reality of being caught up in a space of loving what society considers to be taboo.
Kyle Lewis’s decision as a director in his mid twenties, to use real couples re-enforces the purity in a mantra of love, loving and letting love live.
Then I Christie van Zyl as a poet & writer in my mid twenties with a passion for social cohesion amalgamating the effortless stand for love which can be achieved by every human being.
What if we all just directed our energy towards loving boldly and letting love live with no fear?
What if transgender love was accepted as naturally as heterosexual love?
What if we woke up tomorrow and all the medical practitioners of the world that turned away a transgender person from a hospital, were summoned to disciplinary hearings or even fired?
What if we spoke openly about the barriers we face as a humanity and none of it was found as counter cultural?
What if a man who claims to feel emasculated by losing his woman to other women, actually took a moment to take notes from those other woman?
What if a lesbian was seen as a King for having twice the amount of vaginal intellect between herself and her lover, than the man with five wives?
What if lesbians were to make love for 365 days without being killed?
What if men were to actually respect me when I say that I am happily involved with a woman whom I love dearly?
What if a man were to congratulate my engagement to woman… and not denounce it because of his desire for me which he perceives as more natural than my relationship with a woman?
What if two gay men were to kiss in public for an entire day without people saying ‘I can accept two girls kissing but two men, that is just disgusting’?
What if we acknowledged hate as unnatural?
What if PURE love was our ONLY mantra of love?
Other related links
Obie Mavuso – ‘Blessings Come, Blessings Go’
Toya Delazy – ‘Why Hate’
Toya Delazy & The Soil – ‘With you’
© Christie vZ
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