The government of Mozambique has threatened to sue a female artist who posted semi nude pictures of herself draped in the national flag.
Yolanda Boa, who is known for her daring way of dressing, marked Mozambican Women’s Day, celebrated on April 7, by releasing two semi-nude photographs of what she calls the “Mozambican Woman is Good” collection.
The photos caused immediate outrage online as they quickly spread on several social networks, until they reached the country’s ministry of culture and tourism.
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism expresses the highest expression of vehement condemnation of this act, since the conduct followed by this artist does not in any way confer on the exaltation of the patriotic spirit of the Mozambicans.
Local media reported that the culture minister has threatened to sue the artist for insulting a national symbol.
“The Ministry of Culture and Tourism expresses the highest expression of vehement condemnation of this act, since the conduct followed by this artist does not in any way confer on the exaltation of the patriotic spirit of the Mozambicans; on the contrary, to denigrate the image, honor and prestige of our beloved homeland in the concert of the Nations,” the minister is quoted to have said.
The statement goes ahead to say that the ministry of culture and tourism would hold the authors of this ‘conduct of outrage to the national flag’ to account.
If the matter is taken up in court and Yolanda is found guilty of insulting the flag, she could be jailed for up to six months, as prescribed by the law.
The matter has caused stiff debate on social media between advocates of artistic expression who say Yolanda has not done anything wrong and those who support the minister’s position.
On Mozambican women's day, this Mozambican artist decided to reveal these pictures with the national flag. Later on the same day, the minister of tourism, arts and culture (whom we rarely hear from) issued a statement threatening to sue her for “insulting a national symbol”. pic.twitter.com/vvNV2pBjGE— Zenaida Machado (@zenaidamz) April 8, 2018
Very good Minister! This promotion of nakedness is not what we need in Africa, I would have liked and retweeted if she was celebrating her graduation with the flag to inspire others to study. Mozambique and Africa needs thinkers and not nudes.— Austin Gege (@Austin_Gege) April 9, 2018
this is totally wrong we are talking about the flag of the nation she can't use it as she want is wrong— Nkosi Thomas02 (@Thomas02nk) April 8, 2018
Bollocks. Maybe you cannot tolerate what you call nonsense but some of us tolerate it. Ever heard about artistic freedom? The state has no case here.— Bayano Valy ?? (@BayanoValy) April 8, 2018
And this minister calls himself an artist…