Artistic Interventions in the Historical Remembering of Cape slavery, c.1800s
This mini-thesis thesis intends to grapple with silences by looking the possibilities of reconceptualising archives through notions of “traces,” “absence,” and “fragments.” Examining archives as bodies of knowledge, a window to telling us something about pastpresent- future representations is to think about navigating archives of colonialism and slavery as sites of historical memory. The aim of this paper is to enter the pedagogical problem of remembering and gendered representational voids by seeking to explore how artistic representations offer insights in the absence of detail in the colonial archives. In exploring the relationship between bodies, remembering and the historical trauma of slavery and colonialisation, specifically in relation to historical corporeal and flesh narratives attached to indigenous black women, and how women negotiate these meanings through embodied interventions in (post-) slavery South Africa. The positioning of the body as an archive probes questions on how the memory of traumatic wounding in a (post-)slavery South Africa body politics are inscribed to convey meaning, memory and identity. The notions of embodiment that this thesis is concerned with asks in what ways can we creatively and imaginatively re-construct, outside of conventional historiographies and knowledge(s), that which has been disembowled through colonial dominating narratives of enslaved subjects?