As I mentioned in a previous post (Stressss) I am preparing for an upcoming group exhibition called G1K1. I thought I would give you a preview of one of my works called Pronutro. It is an image of the pro patria medal I received whilst serving in the South African Defence Force. The requirements to qualify for it were as follows:

The Pro Patria Medal was awarded to serving members of all ranks of the South African Defence Force. The conditions for award stipulated that the recipient had to have:

been involved in combat or a skirmish or combat situation or an incident caused by enemy activities, or

participated in a specific operation acknowledged by the Minister of Defence, or

served for a continuous period of 55 days or 90 days non-continuous duty in an operational area as designated by the Minister of Defence.

The wording on the certificate of award reads that the Pro Patria Medal was awarded for service in the defence of the Republic or for the prevention or suppression of terrorism.

The medal receives its title from the Roman lyrical poet Horace’s Odes (III.2.13): Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori –  roughly translated as: “It is sweet and fitting to die for your country.”

We conscripts, forced into national service by the government, mockingly called the medal, a pronutro. ProNutro is a South African breakfast cereal which kind of looks like sawdust and tastes like it if you do not add enough milk. Either way a kind of unappealing breakfast and so we thought similarly of the medal.

Bokomo ProNutro Wholewheat Honey Melt Cereal-500x500













Below: Pronutro (2014) by swany (30 cm x 40 cm, etching on leather)

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