The quotation from which acclaimed South African street artist Faith47 has named her latest large scale work, "Who will guard the guards themselves", is the embodiment of the philosophical question of how power can be held to account. It refers to the impossibility of enforcing moral behaviour when the enforcers are corruptible, as seen in timeless cases of tyrannical governments, uncontrollably oppressive dictatorships, and police or judicial corruption and overreach.
How can we trust authoritative guardians of power when only they are left to guard themselves against themselves? It’s an age-old challenge.
The phrase, as it is normally quoted in Latin, comes from the Satires of Juvenal, the 1st/2nd century Roman satirist.
Through her work, Faith47 attempts to advance the expression of personal truth, offering both an internal and spiritual release that speaks to the complexities of the human condition. A recent mural in Manchester, UK addresses the issue of LGBT rights and pays homage to human intimacy.