Music duo Die Antwoord has had the internet in an uproar with the release of the new music video for Banana Brain, which makes several references to the death of model Reeva Steenkamp and the prison sentence Oscar Pistorius is serving for it. Critics were quick to accuse the group branding the music video insensitive and in poor taste. Psychologist Dr Löre Hartzenberg, who examined Oscar before the trial and also testified expressed her disappointment.
“Music is a wonderful medium with a great amount of influence over people’s culture – but it also influences their thinking and psyche.”
“Die Antwoord is a controversial group that markets themselves in a certain way. That’s all well and good but if you use your music to attack someone’s dignity and take advantage of tragedy, that’s not right.” She says the tragic death of Reeva Steenkamp is not Die Antwoord’s story to tell. Read more: Have Die Antwoord gone too far in shocking Pistorius-shooting video? “I don’t think their decision to base their video on these events is a coincidence. It was for attention and to make money,” she says.
“I’m not saying that art needs to be put into boxes, but a video like this can stir up hate. There are already so many irrational thoughts and feelings involved in this case – nobody is sitting on the fence. Everyone has an opinion.”
Löre is a well-known forensic psychologist who has testified in a few cases. “I’ve never seen anything like it. Every single person in that court had a strong opinion – it actually got personal.”
She says that even the most free and creative artists need to think about what they put out.
“To me it is totally unacceptable and inappropriate. It blurs the lines and I don’t believe that they have the reputation to take on something like this.”