• Thato Mathebula


Satire is a method of revealing and condemning injustices, hate speech and general negative observations in society. Satirists use fictional characters in writing, drawings and in recent times comical skits to condemn individuals, countries or even the world. A blend of comedy, overemphasis, ridicule and irony are what form the foundation of the message being communicated in this method of social commentary.

Some would go as far as saying that satire has elements of activism due to its characteristics of rebellion and challenging the status quo in a unique manner. However, how it has been received and deciphered has always come with a mixture of varied opinions about what is actually being communicated in terms of perceived under tones, character assassination , awareness and seeking justice in a corrupt world with multiple people needing a voice that speaks for them.

Works of art, music and theater are often judged according to similar standards and create conversation based on those standards and comparisons to other bodies of work in the same field. The perception of society’s view on politics, human rights and personal values is what makes satire extremely difficult to critique and comment on because of how differently we all see the world.

Satire aimed at specific topics of conversation cannot be painted with one brush or held to a specific standard. What is inspirational and educational to some may leave others outraged and feeling endangered, what is activism for one individual may be perceived as hate speech to another.

Thought for the week, where do we draw the line around what satirical pieces are trying to communicate and how do we differentiate between freedom of speech and hate speech in satire based on our different perceptions and how we receive information?

Tune in to this week’s podcast episode as we delve deeper into this topic of conversation.

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