Unsettled: One Hundred Years War of Resistance by Xhosa Against Boer and British:
David Krut Projects is pleased to present Unsettled: One Hundred Years War of Resistance by Xhosa Against Boer and British, an exhibition by acclaimed South African photographer Cedric Nunn. Nunn, who is best known for his photographs taken during apartheid, aims to instigate social change and highlight lesser seen aspects of society with his photography. Made up of sixty-one silver-toned, hand printed photographs, this exhibition deals with the nine wars that Xhosa people were subjected to between 1779 and 1879 in their fight against Afrikaner and British colonial settler forces. It will be exhibited in the US in collaboration with Wheaton College, Beard and Weil Galleries and Rhode Island School of Design, Benson Hall.
“The South African landscape is drenched in blood. From its inception when the coast was navigated by in particular European nations; Portuguese, Dutch, French and English, repeated violence has been visited on the inhabitants of this land. At first, the Cape was seen only as a refreshment station by the various marine enterprises. Later it was understood that this port was of vital importance in controlling the trade route on which it lay.
“It then became increasingly clear that to occupy the Cape meant being involved in the interior, and indeed occupying that as well. So, after the violent settling of the Cape and the rapid expansion of settlers into the interior, these clashes, which had resulted in genocide against the San and Khoi, encountered the Xhosa of the now eastern Cape. This clash of civilisations, was to result in a conflict which lasted one hundred years.
“From 1779 to 1879 the Xhosa people were subjected to nine wars of aggression over a one hundred year period, first by Afrikaner settler and then British colonial and settler forces intent on conquering their territory. […]
“This essay looks at the land, which was occupied, desired, defended, lost and won. In it we see both the uses and states it is to be found in today, both by the victors and the vanquished. We are able to imagine the heroism and the misery it inflicted on its actors as they either defended or attacked. We see too, how little of this memory is commemorated or honoured. We see the smug vanquishers, and the vanquished. We see the continuing collaborations, which have always been necessary to maintain the status quo. We see the beauty, which stirred the souls of the inhabitants and the lust of the invaders.
This re-visitation serves to remind us of the long struggles and sacrifices made by our ancestors in the struggle for sovereignty, dignity and freedom. Indeed, the work is a commemoration to their memory.” – Cedric Nunn