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Abstract Space

Updated on May 1, 2010

Inspiration behind the painting and poem

When President Barack Obama came into Office,it was termed a moment in history by some news papers. True to say, it caused a lot of excitement the world over. The question that lingered in my mind was,can he be as good as he promises to be? His tagline, "Yes we can", as catchy as taglines in the marketing industries such as coke's "Coke is it", Nike, "Just do it" and even the late Michael Jackson last concert "This is it". made me a little bit skeptical about him as a feeling person not just another clever politician. 

The painting depicts a burnt out surface,washy colours implying a "washed out state of being and the words "Yes we can " receding into the dark background as if in to a black hole.The ironic aspect of this being that, the partially concealed words seem to become more prominent because of this very factor. What this then alludes to is the strength or power of language.It is so ingrained in us that we do not need to know/see the whole phrase to decipher its meaning.

It then becomes a tug of war between  the meaning of the phrase and the sheer power of words. One then has to make their own personal stand in interpreting what the whole scenario depicts.

Personally as the painter,my feelings are depicted in the poem below.

Yes we can

Painting by Victor Mavedzenge. More available at
Painting by Victor Mavedzenge. More available at

Yes we can

Was it all a dream-the birth of the day of Yes we can

Was it all in my fleeting imagination?

I asked a friend as we shared a morning coffee

He reply-there is great excitement before any plan

After that is hard work tears and frustration

He took a long look at his coffee

Then concluded-You know?

Well that is some sound reasoning you put up on the table

I don't mean to be of dissident thoughts or a rebel

I paused to sip my coffee reminded me of toffee

But I think its all-political manoeuvres you see.

Blinding the masses with a catchy statement

In a while you are singing

All a while no one is doing what they meant

That's the problem with all type of government

My friend called the waiter and pulled out his wallet

Without another word he paid up and suggested we left

Along the street he mused aloud

We must act too on our own personal promise

I did not answer, but drifted into some abstract silent space

Occasionally glancing for a clue from the look on his face.

Victor Mavedzenge


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