EENHANA - Protest art is a broad term that refers to creative works that concern or are produced by activists and social movements. Social movements produce such works like signs, banners, posters and other printed materials used to convey a particular cause or message. Often, such art is used as part of demonstrations or acts of civil disobedience. These works tend to be ephemeral, characterized by their portability and disposability and are frequently not authorised or owned by one person. The various peace symbols and the raised fist are two examples that highlight the democratic ownership of these signs.
One such artist, who is eking to expose this radical type of art is none other than Simoen Hendjala Sabi-Za. He is currently based here. He uses both water and oil paints for his protesting works.
He says protesting arts is the air he breathes since, as a Namibian youth, he has tried to knock on all doors to find a better living but it seems the doors for him are locked. “I have decided to go for this type of art because the government is not giving us jobs. Our government is not taking us seriously as youths so I have decided to further my artistic career in arts while specializing in oil and water paintings,” he says
But why protest paintings? This is because support is not forthcoming from the elders in both the ruling and opposition parties, he has decided to go for the kind of art hoping it will convince the government to do something for the youths in general. “Painting has now become a good business for me as a youth. I have been contracted to do some works for big companies such as Build It, PEP stores here in Eenhana, Okongo, Oshakati and Oshikango. Private companies have also looked for my services as well. It is a way to communicate our problems to the government,” he says
He says he has been fully booked at the ongoing Eenhana Expo. So far, he has works on “No job, No Vote” which is on display at the Expo. His works is being exhibited on clothes and T-Shirts including chitenjes, which are worn by ladies. “My new works is focusing on “No Jobs, No Vote” because as I am speaking to you now, l am one of those angry youths who have no jobs in the land of the brave. Support is not coming although I have tried to apply even for the College of the Arts (Cota) in Windhoek. I don’t have enough money to enroll at Cota,” he explains.
Sabi-Za says oil and water paintings have done more harm than good. He says he has even created enemies even in the government, hence his suffering otherwise. “No one has a right over my talent and I will continue to work in the arts industry as long as God is keeping me alive.
So far I am trying by all means to raise money for my Cota course next year but I need some corporate organisations to help me with some little financial assistance.
I have done some works for Standard Bank, MTC and other organizations on part time basis,” he says
“My parents are poor and living at the village so l need some organizations to help me please,” he concludes.