By 1992, Barker was well known to the downtown police. In those days virtually everyone with a remotely subversive record - and certainly all conscientious objectors - had a file kept on their activities at the notorious police headquarters, John Vorster Square.

It was there that Barker was taken after his second arrest. "What happened was a policeman, a big, big, white policeman had just caught a street child for petty theft and fucked the bejesus out of him in front of me, so I was again faced with this whole terrible reality of do I - can I - speak for him. Or do I just ignore it?"

Barker lost his temper.

The arresting officer lost his docket. Barker spent the better part of his week in the holding cells, where he was faced with another moral question. "I was in the cell with two far right wing AWB types who had just murdered a black man. They had stolen his guitar and they had killed him."

Late on the second night, the Sergeant came to tell the one man that his brother had committed suicide, and Barker found himself nursing the enemy through his trauma.

"Suddenly I was the only one who could help console this guy... For hours and hours. About death and about loss. At the same time I was sitting there hating him. For me it was another big wake-up call about what a contradiction I'm living in, living in South Africa."

Have you Hugged a Fascist Today?

Wayne Barker: Artist's Monograph
Vienna Calling
60's Suburbia
Johnny Rottenism
Anyone for Tennis?
Fourteen Days in Hell
The Bad Art Attacks
The Famous Five do Downtown
Fragments of a Murder
Have you Hugged a Fascist Today?
Landscape with Target
Blood Money
Le Monde a L'envers
Bigotry on a Stick
The Heart of Neon
Divorce in Paradise
The South African Thing
Storming the Ramparts
The Wax Hand
A Love Story
Frankfurt in Latex
The Talking Curio
Back to Basics
Dirty Laundry
A New Kind of Freedom
Photo Credits & Works