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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:From Grahamstown to Egazini: using art and history to construct post colonial identity and healing in the new South Africa
Author:Wells, Julia C.ISNI
Periodical:African Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:group identity
conflict resolution
military operations
visual arts
oral history
Architecture and the Arts
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
Ethnic and Race Relations
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/00020180300992
Abstract:In April 1819, an estimated 10,000 Xhosa warriors were defeated by a small British garrison in Grahamstown (South Africa) and eventually driven out of this part of southeastern Africa altogether. The site of the battle is known today as Egazini - the place of blood. It is covered by a low-income township inhabited by the African descendants of the warriors, who came back as poorly-paid servants and unskilled workers into a white-dominated colonial economy. This paper describes a project aimed at exposing nearly 30 local artists to the history of the Battle of Grahamstown and then letting each produce his or her own interpretation, using printmaking techniques. The prints were then collected into a major art exhibition in 2000. From both interviews conducted with a sampling of the participants, using oral history methodology, and the comments that the artists made to accompany their prints in the exhibition, it can be said that strong elements of a new community identity have been generated. Out of the painful past comes not only hope, but the beginning of reconciliation and finding a common meeting ground. Above all, the project sheds light on the complexities of how healing takes place in a torn society. Bibliogr., notes. [ASC Leiden abstract]