ART: Bitterkomix and the censorship redux
Conrad Botes and Anton Kannemeyer’s Bitterkomix has always sparked controversy. Graham Wood discovers that the freshly launched 18th edition and the acclaimed duo’s other new work is no different
Towards the end of 2019, I had an opportunity to speak to the artist Conrad Botes of Bitterkomix fame. His attempts to release a new book, The Erotic Drawings of Conrad Botes, were being thwarted at every turn.
While he’d had more than his fair share of state censorship at the tail-end of apartheid, he’d recently encountered a new culture of censoriousness that seemed to be suppressing his work. It wasn’t censorship in the traditional sense of a direct affront to the freedom of expression enshrined in the constitution. Rather, this was a vaguer but nevertheless pervasive kind of suppression that worked through "strange channels", as he put it, but was proving alarmingly effective...