Fragile Histories | Fugitive Lives

  • Location: Slave Lodge
  • From: January 1, 2014     To: September 4, 2014
Fragile Histories | Fugitive Lives

Fragile Histories | Fugitive Lives, by Professor Keith Dietrich, comprises an artist’s book and four photomontages that narrate the tensions and textures of early colonial encounters at the Cape in South Africa. The work alludes to the rich though unsettled histories of the people who inhabited this globalised space characterised by an astonishing cultural, linguistic and religious diversity. This group of people comprised indigenous Khoi and San people; slaves from Africa and the Indian subcontinent; slaves, political exiles and convicts from the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia); free blacks; slaves born at the Cape; Chinese and European visitors and settlers; and the offspring of the mixing of these groups. The only traces left behind by many of these people are in the form of court records of trials that took place at the Cape. Fragile Histories is informed by trials that took place during the 1700s, and in particular by the atrocious sentences that were meted out for transgressions against a social order in which these people found themselves.

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