Once upon a time,
There was a pauper boy who cherished a dime.
By some twist of fate he beheld a damsel high born,
Traipsing along the path of the hedges well shorn.
They stumbled into each other.
Strangers in a world of order.
Their world knew no bother.
The fair damsel made gifts of a dove and a rose.
But murder in his heart the pauper boy had little time for fancy prose.
By and by time wound them in a sensuous bind.
The pauper boy’s heart became too kind.
Alas if only he knew what disaster would befall him.
The darkness in his being he would not trim.
For the damsel’s betrothed had come with filthy luck,
And her guitar strings he would pluck.
She soon danced to his tune
And the pauper boy was lost in a dune.
Smitten he pined away.
For the dove and rose had become time’s prey.
She died to him a while later.
Even as her betrothed carved her heart into bits and butter.
Thereafter he would skip past her home.
Longing to see her smile in the window of the dome.
To catch a glimpse of the ghost
Who was alive and well; the parasitic betrothed’s host.
He bowed his head and trundled on.
Towards the sunset saffron.
©Sena Kodjokuma, 2013
The nude in contemporary African art is subject to polarizing views and controversies. From when African people have been described as people of few clothes till now where lesser clothes spark controversy the nude has been at its epicenter.
Our various cultures see little wrong with a woman showing off her body as seen in our puberty rites. In the wake of missionary work which relegated traditional religion to idol worship the selfsame culture was labelled primitive and derogatory. Whatever right artists from the Renaissance and “civilized” European countries had to draw, paint and sculpt nudes is lost to me.
Recently a friend of my Judith modeled for a nude photo-shoot. This immediately sparked acts of rancor. She has been mainly a non conformist. The picture in itself is beautiful and demure. Its revealing nature dampened by the drapery and lighting.
Over all it speaks of innocence and femininity. Her eyes however betray this otherwise virginal look. Knowing her personally I’d say there’s a wanton woman roving behind them. Her glare and the set jaw speak of daring and hold little fear of the unknown. The disheveled hair suggests the wild nature of her persona. The darkness is symbolic of the wanton desires we hold as imperfect human beings.
As an artist in the making I would aptly say this is a masterpiece of a shot. Taking on a variety of meanings and judgment from a mainly confused people it stands for the deep lying discord our cultures and religious beliefs sow.
Nudism is not self gratifying but an avenue for showing the perfection of the human body as a gift of God and nature.