AFTER the initial outcry following the launch of the first poster of the In Our Future campaign, the Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (DASO) released a follow up poster last week.
The latest advertisement (pictured on right) focusing on the youth wage subsidy issue depicts what the student organisation views as the current South African situation, where a young black man is standing at a traffic light begging while carrying a signboard saying “have degree, will work for food”.
The previous poster, released in January showed a naked interracial couple embracing, had social media sites buzzing about the message it put across.
DASO leader Mohammed Sayanvala said: “The [In our future] campaign expresses the DA youth’s vision for our generation and ties in with the party’s vision of equal opportunity for all, and the keywords being, ‘for all’.”
Sayanvala said: “We are trying to reflect the reality of this country; we’re looking at the demographics and not trying to put a mask by putting a white person just to show that we’re not racist.
“Currently in South Africa there are 3.2million unemployed youth and looking at the demographics black people are affected by it [the] most, but it’s not exclusive to black people only. I assure you we’d get the same response had we had a white person,” he said.
Postgraduate student, Mandumo Mguli, said the transition from the interracial couple poster to the current one was “very thought-provoking”.
Mguli said, looking at the poster, the race factor was one thing that could not be avoided. “I just thought to myself why put a black guy there and […] why would you choose to put a graduate in a position of begging when there are so many other avenues to follow.”
Second year BSc engineering student Travis Beanett thought the poster was cleverly done. “It plays on the things that students think about after they graduate. I didn’t notice the race factor, I just saw a sign,” he said.
Politics lecturer Lwazi Lushaba said the DASO campaign could affect campus life by motivating society away from the kind of mentality in which ideas need to be viewed in a black and white in order for them to be understood.
Lushaba said: “The DA is trying to help people to cease thinking of the binary opposites that they [society] are accustomed to because signs don’t matter, what matters are the interpretations attached to them”.
He added that the organisation is trying to make society move from a race-governed debate to an issue-governed debate.