The provocative Democratic Alliance Student Organisation (DASO) 2012 campaign poster has received overwhelming public response.

The DASO poster shows a white man embracing a black woman above the slogan: “In OUR future, you wouldn’t look twice.” The poster has become the focus of a controversial debate and has been criticised by some for allegedly promoting sexual promiscuity.

On 6 March, the Centre for the Study of Aids (CSA) hosted a Student Forum in the Graduate Centre concerning the DASO poster. Lerato Lebona, the CSA Training Coordinator told Perdeby, “The aim was to create and facilitate dialogue amongst students about social issues in society affecting them, to ask questions and to gain more knowledge around such issues by providing a safe space for them to do so.”

According to Lebona, most of the comments made were linked to race, gender, identity, tolerance, morality, sex and diversity. “The poster is great and challenges social norms. It got people thinking critically about our society and more importantly it got people talking about social issues a lot of them find difficult [to talk] about. The DASO poster was an ice-breaker,” Lebona said.

DASO Chairperson Jordan Griffiths said, “The intention with the poster was to show to South Africans that DASO and the DA Youth are movements [that] are here to tackle the real issues facing this country.”

“We aren’t going to tiptoe around sensitive issues. We are a youth movement and we are radical.” He added: “[The poster] served as a way of shining light on the question of race, identity and tolerance in our South Africa. It was a way of [asking] ‘Is this inter-racial couple an issue for you?’ Well if it is then you had best start thinking about how you view the world.”

According to Griffiths, the negative responses DASO received regarding the poster are “all a way of people trying to hide the fact that the poster had obviously seriously struck home.” Comments on Facebook regarding the DASO 2012 campaign poster were both positive and negative. Krevania Pillay wrote: “Soft porn much?” Thusa Matseme wrote: “Typical of a white [A]frikaner party like the DA. Senior members of the DA must have sanctioned this crap. Who said black women have an ambition to date white [A]frikaners whose fathers and grandfathers were architects of apartheid[?]”Cristobal Gutierrez wrote: “Politics??? Really my first impression is that it’s a condom advertisement! LOL really.”

However, Jennifer Ross wrote: “I don’t see anything wrong with this picture. Firstly, it’s not porn, it’s art. Secondly, many comments here prove the necessity of campaigns like this one.”

To read all the comments and shares regarding the DASO 2012 campaign poster visit the Democratic Alliance Youth page.

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