By Nii B. Andrews
There is a chilling biblical account of mass infanticide ordered by Herod in a misguided attempt at preventing a prophecy of the three wise men from the east.
Even prior to that and since then, human history has recorded numerous other massacres. But can we confidently say that we have seen the last of them?
In every case, both the perpetrator and victim are dehumanized; the soil is soaked with blood; the rivers are colored crimson; the vegetation is stained red and an eerie silence descends on the land.
Those who survive wander about as molochs in a degraded landscape of shattered dreams, lost innocence and mutilated bodies.
In Kofi Awuyah’s frenzied painting – “Massacre”, a dark blood red AK- 47, frames the right edge.
Following its invention in 1949 by Mikhail Kalashnikov, the “AK” has been the weapon of choice of freedom fighters and terrorists – one man’s……
Does Awuyah send a message with the juxtaposition of the AK next to the derriere of a quadruped and it’s jewels?
Moving to the top left half of the painting, we encounter what look like a pair of agitated (? semi- nude/ topless) female figures flanking a pair of grenades – deadly pineapples, or pears; another not infrequent weapon for mass killing.
Is there another coded message here?
But lest we forget, in low tech communities, the machete or panga comes into its own as a prized tool for dismemberment.
An already bloody one is being wielded by a tan colored figure who is astride a supine teal colored figure, and the former is going for the right arm; no sterile technique, no anesthesia!
Other already amputated limbs lie nearby and all eyes are wide open with mania or crushing horror – horror generated with the terrible trio of gun, bomb and machete.
Of course in such a situation, the sun takes on an ashen or leaden hue to emphasize that death and darkness are sweeping across the land; the light is obscured.
What is the lesson if any?
Perhaps it is this; all people of goodwill must remain eternally vigilant and ready to challenge those who wittingly or unwittingly through persistent anti-democratic practices, sow the seeds of anarchy and violence among us.
We must confront and contain the little Hitlers – those with narcissistic traits – overconfident, domineering, corrupt and with an unwillingness to listen to others or allow for others to speak, those with a warped sense of entitlement and a penchant for adulation and glory.
How many of us can and will?